On December 18th 2009, the Sexuality Policy Watch (SPW) website posted the article US Funding for HIV/AIDS, written by Natalie Wittlin about the retention of the ‘prostitution pledge’ in the new proposed US HIV/AIDS policy guidelines announced by the Obama Administration on November 23rd. On December 29th, the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo published an article entitled The United States will provide funds to prostitutes (only in Portuguese). Written by the correspondent in Geneva, the article reported that Eric Goosby, the current US Global AIDS Coordinator, had announced that: “The Obama administration will once again provide funds to NGOs that work to provide social support to prostitutes. The guideline that will be enacted in 2010 is a key revision of the policies adopted by the Bush administration and can help Brazil.” The article also mentioned that Mr. Goosby advocated for the establishment of an agreement with Brazil to treat HIV/AIDS in poorer countries “because Brazil is an example and has done what the US has not yet been able to do to ensure the treatment of marginalized people and those living in remote areas.”
The content of the article contradicted SPW’s analysis of PEPFAR. The ‘announcement’ of a major shift in US policy has mobilized Brazilian actors involved with HIV/AIDS debates and has revived the tensions and debates of 2005, when the Brazil-USAID agreement for HIV Prevention was suspended because the government and civil society organizations of Brazil refused to sign the prostitution pledge. The potential agreement with Brazil to expand cooperation with poorer countries has also received international attention, as illustrated by a note posted on the USAID.
SPW therefore decided to verify the accuracy of the O Estado article. We have searched for updated information to determine whether the policy has been changed since Wittlin’s article was posted. We have concluded that her analysis remains valid. To ensure further precision, we now recapture the trajectory of the US HIV/AIDS policy since 2008, examining not just those aspects related to the prostitution pledge, but also those related to the A(Abstain) B(Be faithful) C (Condoms) model of prevention.
> Read the article “US Funding for HIV/AIDS” (published by SPW in December 2009)
Read more on PEPFAR:
> The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Health Affairs in December 2009, with commments about the “anti-prostitution pledge” policy requirements.
> The Council for Global Equality released a study on the impact of PEPFAR on LGBT communities. In this report, Washington insider Scott Evertz, the former director of President George W. Bush’s Office of National AIDS Policy and an openly gay Republican, takes a serious look at the PEPFAR.