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Big government in boardrooms, bad; in bedrooms, good
July 1, 2004 1:49 PM   Subscribe

The CDC recently issued new HIV prevention guidelines that would mandate all organizations that get any federal funding to submit all surveys, curricula, web materials, posters, ads, brochures, etc. to new community-based Policy Review Panels. Politically appointed censors rather than health officials will now decide what's acceptable in terms of HIV prevention and education. Materials must promote abstinence and include a message about the ineffectiveness of condom use in preventing the spread of HIV and STDs. There is a period of public comment on the new regulations until August 16. - more inside -
posted by madamjujujive (39 comments total)

 
CDC HIV Content Guidelines Announcement
Submit comments before August 16
Read comments that have been submitted
posted by madamjujujive at 1:51 PM on July 1, 2004


This will lead to smaller government, right?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:52 PM on July 1, 2004


This will lead to smaller government, right?

No, a smaller populace.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:55 PM on July 1, 2004


May lead a more responsive government -- you know, the one that's by, for and of the people, not merely their self-appointed betters?
posted by MattD at 1:57 PM on July 1, 2004


Will the demented Moonie sex ed program (their hilariouisly intellectually shoddy website is here) pass muster?
posted by inksyndicate at 2:10 PM on July 1, 2004


No sex, please -- or we'll audit you
posted by homunculus at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2004


May lead a more responsive government -- you know, the one that's by, for and of the people, not merely their self-appointed betters?

Nation's Experts Give Up: "'From now on, you're on your own', say experts".
posted by Space Coyote at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2004


May lead a more responsive government -- you know, the one that's by, for and of the people (ignorant of issues in desease control as they are, and succeptable to social judgements concerning medical practices), not merely their self-appointed (and medically trained) betters?

Yeah, good argument, MattD. God knows that I always drape my public health issues in the flag to make them all better. Maybe we could just have the Preznit lay on hands to heal the seak. Shit, you never know, maybe his new found (with the death of Ronald Reagan) optimism will carry this country into a new era of absolute healthylikeness. (/simulated stupidity)
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:15 PM on July 1, 2004


Is anyone else getting an error when they try to submit comments?

I wonder if they'll attribute the lack of comments to "computer glitches" and just not read any.
posted by u.n. owen at 2:29 PM on July 1, 2004


Weird, didn't Bush just say earlier this week that condoms help prevent STDs? Wouldn't this ruling kinda go against that?
posted by mathowie at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2004


This is truly awful. They don't ever run out of things that will prevent people from getting life-saving info, do they? Disgusting, and deadly.


and i got this when i left a comment: Thank you for using SEND IT!
The refer file, "http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/content_guidelines/confirm.htm" at "M:\wwwroot\http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/content_guidelines/confirm.htm" can not be found!

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posted by amberglow at 2:49 PM on July 1, 2004


>This will lead to smaller government, right?

No, but the invisible hand of the meat market will protect us.
posted by skallas at 2:49 PM on July 1, 2004


No, a smaller populace.

No, this will lead to a larger populace, more babies...

and Matt, we all know that Bush speaks with a forked tongue.
posted by caddis at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2004


The Nation: Bush's AIDS Hypocrisy Cons the NY Times

Don't bother to read the article, it basically sums up the confusion over whether the President promotes condom use or not (Answer: not). His "ABC's" of AIDS prevention, where C stands for condom use when appropriate, run counter to his administration's many anti-condom policies.

The funny thing is that if everyone behaved exactly like the Vatican and Pat Robertson wanted, AIDS would disappear within a generation. Also, life would be so boring it wouldn't be worth living.
posted by MarkO at 2:53 PM on July 1, 2004


The people promoting abstinence are creepy as hell, especially when they try to indoctrinate children. These guys have been touring the UK, trying to get teenagers to sign up to it. If they ever come to my town, I'll be going down there to give them a piece of my mind...

And it strikes me as kind of odd that the Pope and Bush fell out over the Iraq war (the Pope was against it), and yet they both agree on something as silly as "condoms don't prevent AIDS!" I guess ideology is blind.
posted by reklaw at 2:57 PM on July 1, 2004


May lead a more responsive government -- you know, the one that's by, for and of the people, not merely their self-appointed betters?

Good point, MattD. I say: why limit this philosophy to health policy?

We should have community-based Policy Review Panels checking every minutiae of the federal government's operation. Panels should discuss and approve every troop deployment, CIA mission, tax audit, Coast Guard purchase order, White House groundskeepers' choice of fertilizer, scientific research grant funded by the NSF or NIH or NASA or DOD, FCC regulation, FBI arrest, US attorney indictment, Congressional resolution or bill or nomination confirmation, Supreme Court decision, National Park seasonal closing date, fisheries management project, international treaty, Presidential pardon, menu for Federal penitentiaries, Department of the the Interior motor pool vehicle purchase, new health care plan for air traffic controllers, new weapons system, design for supercomputer clusters at the National Laboratories, design for interplanetary missions at JPL, and sale of timber from the National Forests.

That'll make for hella responsive government, don't you think?
posted by mr_roboto at 3:05 PM on July 1, 2004


To any Kerry campaign workers or other Democratic activists: if you want to get moderate voters on your side, this is an issue to play up. I can't see the vast American political center thinking very highly of this.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2004


i got this when i left a comment

amberglow, you can also email direct to HIVComments@cdc.gov.
posted by eddydamascene at 3:29 PM on July 1, 2004


State of the Union, 2003: "Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away. A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He says, "We have no medicines. Many hospitals tell people, you've got AIDS, we can't help you. Go home and die." In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to hear those words. (Applause.)"

Bush to U.S. Population through CDC: "Go home and die."
posted by ed at 3:31 PM on July 1, 2004


Bush to U.S. Population through CDC: "Go home and die."

Hence my "smaller populace" comment above. AIDS kills, and until reliable and cheap vaccines and treatments are available it will continue to kill. And the risk of getting it can be reduced drastically by something as simple and cheap as a condom.
I can't believe that we're still having to fight this battle.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:48 PM on July 1, 2004


How about we deny government assistance who anyone who's injured while driving an SUV?
posted by gimonca at 4:03 PM on July 1, 2004


an abstinence-educated high schooler's opinion.

one line rings especially true:

asked if "outercourse" constituted an abstinent lifestyle, she flatly refused to clarify this important question and left many students without an accurate picture of whether they were or weren’t abstaining

abstinence education is absolutely worthless.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:05 PM on July 1, 2004


trypt to bush: please get aids
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:10 PM on July 1, 2004


if you wanna make yourself really mad, check out this link from MarkO's article: Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran: Axis of Abstinence.

it's good to know that when push comes to fuck, you're either against US or a suspected sponsor of terrorism.

don't think about it too long, or your head might explode.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:15 PM on July 1, 2004


The people promoting abstinence are creepy as hell, especially when they try to indoctrinate children. These guys have been touring the UK, trying to get teenagers to sign up to it. If they ever come to my town, I'll be going down there to give them a piece of my mind...

It's stupid to advocate abstinence as the only method of preventing STDs, stupid not to educate youth about their bodies and taking care of them. But saying that abstinence promotion in general is creepy and dumb is a stupid as well, and reeks of a closedmindedness not all that different from what's displayed on the part of the Bush administration and decried here.
posted by namespan at 5:51 PM on July 1, 2004


Wait, wait, so CDC doesn't stand for Cult of the Dead Cow?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:20 PM on July 1, 2004


Keep your CDC off my penis!
posted by armoured-ant at 6:23 PM on July 1, 2004


i feel sorry for the people that work at CDC, you know the ones that aren't politicians. they must really hate their jobs right about now.
posted by rhyax at 9:49 PM on July 1, 2004


From the first link:

And those abstinence-only programs, researchers say, actually increase the risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

This absurd statement just flies in the face of reason, but the shrill, left-of-Chomsky, hysterical-harridan tone of the article was truly hilarious.
posted by hama7 at 6:47 AM on July 2, 2004


Why do you think it flies in the face of reason, hama7? It seems pretty clear to me. Abstinence works for some kids, condom use for others. If you only promote one method and sabotage the other, then you get more kids being unsafe, because they won't use abstinence, and have been deliberately left ignorant of any other method of protection.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:01 AM on July 2, 2004


Abstinence works for some kids, condom use for others.

If you're engaging in sexual activity, then it's not "abstinence". That's easy.
posted by hama7 at 8:12 AM on July 2, 2004


And those abstinence-only programs, researchers say, actually increase the risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
There have been several studies done with regards to abstinence-only programs. At least one of them was posted to MeFi in the past year. Each of the studies has shown this statement to be true.
This absurd statement just flies in the face of reason, but the shrill, left-of-Chomsky, hysterical-harridan tone of the article was truly hilarious.
Your willful ignorance and intellectual dishonesty are dangerous. Stop, for just a moment, picking sides.
If you're engaging in sexual activity, then it's not "abstinence". That's easy.
That is because children that are only taught abstinence eventually become sexually active adults. Welcome to reality, hama7.
posted by sequential at 8:27 AM on July 2, 2004


That is because children that are only taught abstinence eventually become sexually active adults. Welcome to reality, hama7.

You must have uncovered some progressive nuance that escaped my incisive perceptions. You see, I thought we were talking about new regulations regarding HIV prevention, which include the rather painfully obvious assertion that not having sex brings the risk of HIV contraction down to about nil. Throw all the condoms around you want, not one(!) is 100 percent effective; it says so right on the box, and it's disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Certainly effective prevention education should include abstinence as an option. Nothing could be safer, or as effective (100%).

No, a smaller populace.

Well, abortion is doing most of the dirty work there, at 40 million since 1973.
posted by hama7 at 10:48 AM on July 2, 2004


It's not that abstinence "works for some kids" but not for others. It works for every kid, it's just that some kids won't do it. There are certainly kids who will never do what adults tell them under any circumstances, so this problem will never go away entirely, but the problem has certainly become much worse in the last few decades as many parents have lost the will to even try to control their children.
posted by kindall at 11:29 AM on July 2, 2004


So those hallucinogens I took a while back, they must still be working, this can't be reality. It's way too wacky, and scary. I recently read that the use of the word 'imagine' is heavily discouraged in schoolbooks in Texas, because 'imagine' sounds a bit like 'magic'... oooohhh...
posted by chrid at 1:06 PM on July 2, 2004


Hama7, this isn't about whether to promote abstinence. It's about whether to solely promote abstinence.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:12 PM on July 2, 2004


Also, an analogy: people don't tend to get colds in the summer. That's because thanks to temperature, time spent indoors/outside, etc., each person's immunity is raised. The catch: each person's immunity is raised by only a tiny, tiny amount. But the disease has to go through other people to get to someone, and at each juncture it stands less a chance than it would in winter; the immunity compounds.

Condoms increase STD immunity massively (the percent effectiveness figures given are for a year of use, not a single use). Condom use may not be 100% effective on an individual basis, but, if universal, it would be 100% effective on a societal basis.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:18 PM on July 2, 2004


To: HIVComments@cdc.gov

Please do not destroy HIV education programs around the nation by implementing the proposed guidelines published June 16 in the Federal Register. HIV, AIDS and the health of the nation are not pawns in a political battle. In fact, there is no rhetoric that can justify the use of these issues as such. While a more perfect solution has yet to be found, there is enough history and evidence that HIV prevention through education is successful and does not need to be hampered by misguided ideologues.

These guidelines are not based in fact or reality. They will harm more people than help. Studies have shown abstinence policies to be destructive and dangerous to the very people they aim to help. To simplify the vast amount of data these proposed guidelines ignore, here are a few quotes for your review.

- "a Minnesota Department of Health study (1) of the state’s five-year, abstinence-only program (2) found last year that sexual activity by students taking the program actually doubled, from 5.8 percent to 12.4 percent." (3)

- "The report also surveyed 2,500 Minnesota parents and found that 20% favor abstinence-only education for their children, compared with 77% who want their children to learn about contraception in addition to abstinence" (4)

- "a study (5) by Columbia University Department of Sociology chairman Peter Bearman (6) of the sex lives of 12,000 adolescents from 12 to 18 years old over a five-year period found unsafe sex much greater among youth who’d signed pledges to abstain from sex until (heterosexual) marriage (a key component of most abstinence only-based education programs, which leave gay kids, who can’t get married in 49 states, to face a lifetime of chastity)."

Do not make the mistake of making these proposed guidelines mandatory in order to receive Federal funding. Taking funding from effective education and spending only to promote sexual ignorance is a deadly mistake.

Thank you,

(1) http://www.saynotyet.com/pdfs/eval-report/enabl-report98-02.pdf

(2) http://www.saynotyet.com/about.htm

(3) http://www.laweekly.com/ink/04/31/news-ireland.php

(4) http://www.planned.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5885&JServSessionIdr012=asfque4ga1.app1b&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=-1

(5) http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth

(6) http://www.sociology.columbia.edu/people/index.html?professors/psb17/index.html
posted by sequential at 12:34 AM on July 3, 2004


AIDS in India: South Asia's smoldering threat. First of a Five-Part Series.
posted by homunculus at 1:16 AM on July 5, 2004


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