Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bush administration forces Uganda to take giant step backwards with AIDS

It seems as if the Bush Administration can be counted on to turn something that was a success into a failure. Before the widowmaker came to power the United States enjoyed a surplus. As soon as Bush became the selected president the surplus changed into a huge deficit. Well he's doing it again. Uganda was the most successful African nation to combat AIDS. This was possible because of a condom distribution system. Apparently the Bush administration and its religious fanatic supporters coerced the Ugandan leaders to make condoms unavailable to those who wish to purchase them. Because of condom use the percentage of people dying from AIDS was much lower than that of neighboring African nations. From 1990 to 1997 Masaka, Uganda diminished the number of AIDS cases from 4.5 million to just under a million in the 13 to 19 age group. With condoms being made purposely unavailable the numbers of AIDS cases in Masaka and other Ugandan communities will certainly rise. The Health, A Key To Prosperity website reports "Uganda's success in reducing high HIV infection rates is the result of high-level political commitment to HIV prevention and care, involving a wide range of partners and all sectors of society. Same-day results for HIV tests and social marketing of condoms and self-treatment kits for sexually transmitted infections, backed up by sex education programmes, have helped reduce very high HIV infection rates.
Uganda, one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to experience the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS and to take action to control the epidemic, is one of the rare success stories in a region that has been ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While the rate of new infections continues to increase in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda has succeeded in lowering its very high infection rates. Since 1993, HIV infection rates among pregnant women, a key indicator of the progress of the epidemic, have been more than halved in some areas and infection rates among men seeking treatment for sexually transmitted infections have dropped by over a third." The ultra conservative Christian religious community headquartered in the United States spread the word in Uganda that condoms were not effective. It is also believed that Ugandans would receive more U.S. financial assistance if they went along with the no condom policy. As a result no one was permitted to buy condoms for an indefinite period of time. Condoms stored in excessively high temperatures will be ineffective. These condoms were sent to Sweden to be tested and of course they would be rejected when exposed to high temperatures. This is just one more example of how Bush policies are not just destroying the United States: they are destroying the world.

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