Senate and House committees delay action on AIDS bills
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday on legislation to provide funding for global AIDS prevention and treatment programs after White House officials expressed concern that the bill does not adequately promote abstinence over condom use, The New York Times reports. The House Committee on International Relations discussion of the House AIDS bill has been indefinitely postponed.
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate committee, said that the current Senate bill has been questioned by the White House because Administration officials believe it should be crafted to mirror Uganda's "Abstinence, Be Faithful, or use Condoms" campaign, and as such it should place further emphasis on monogamy and abstinence. Senate majority leader Bill Frist offered suggestions in a memo for improving the bill, including provisions calling for the elimination of commercial sex work in developing countries, the establishment of an HIV notification program to inform women when their husbands test positive for HIV antibodies, and more funds for abstinence programs.