Tobias, abstinence booster, to head USAID
Esther Kaplan printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 03:18:33 PM EST
Randall Tobias, a former pharmaceutical company CEO who has been running Bush's global AIDS initiative since 2003, will soon become the new head of USAID, and Condoleeza Rice will be giving the post far more juice than it's ever had before. The move has sent off alarms among women's health and AIDS advocates who've watched Tobias become an avid promoter of ineffective--and thus deadly--abstinence-only initiatives.
"Tobias has been all too willing to accede to the demands of the extreme right in developing policies and programs based on ideology rather than evidence," says Jodi Jacobson, director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity He has publicly declared that condoms "have not been very ineffective" in preventing HIV, has attacked prevention efforts among sex workers, and has funneled far more money to abstinence-only initiatives than even the GOP Congress required, all while presiding over a drop in condom assistance. (See my earlier post on this topic and one by Michelle Goldberg.) Now he's moving into a post where he'll exert control over all US foreign assistance--not just that related to HIV.

"Many statements made by Ambassador Tobias serve to undermine public confidence in condoms, despite clear evidence that they are highly effective in protecting against HIV infection,” says James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a sex ed organization. “When it comes to prevention, [Tobias] caved to the ideologues. As head of USAID, Ambassador Tobias will not only be responsible for AIDS funding, but also in charge of population and family planning programs. How will his anti-science ideology impact programs vital to protecting the health of women and young people around the world?”

Women of the world--watch out.




Display:
Has not been especially effective at preventing STD's in Texas.

For example* -  

Syphilis Rates in Texas, Image hosted by Photobucket.com

[ *graph courtesy of Texas Dept. of State Public Health Services. ]

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