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Policy Updates

April 2006

Congress Takes Aim at Crisis Pregnancy Centers
The Washington Post recently published an article stating that “millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have flowed to groups that support President Bush's agenda on abortion and other social issues.”1 In addition to highlighting other programs benefiting from this money, such as faith-based initiatives and abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, this article directed ...
Condom Interventions Do Not Lead to Earlier Sex, More Sex, or More Partners
HIV-prevention interventions that include information about condoms do not inadvertently lead to earlier sexual debut, more frequent sexual activity, or more sexual partners, according to a new meta-analysis of 174 studies published in the March 2006 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes . Conducted in order to ...
South African Political Figure’s Trial Brings HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women to the Fore
Former South African Deputy President and presidential hopeful Jacob Zuma is on trial in the Johannesburg High Court for allegedly raping an HIV-positive AIDS activist and long-time family friend. Zuma's testimony, widely reported in the media, has been riddled with misinformation about HIV/AIDS and the nature of sexual assault. These ...
With New STD Statistics, State and Local Health Departments Are Instigating Change
State and local health departments across the country are reporting increasing teen pregnancy rates and soaring sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates among young people. In Florida, Texas, and Minnesota, health officials have used the data to begin instigating conversations and programming changes related to sexuality education. In Palm Beach, FL, county ...
Rhode Island Department of Education Takes Stand Against Abstinence-Only Program
The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has prohibited a federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage program from operating in Rhode Island public schools until the program's materials are reviewed. On March 15, 2006, the Commissioner of RIDE, Peter McWalters, sent a letter to all public school superintendents notifying them that Heritage of ...
Nigeria to Outlaw Same-Sex Marriage
Nigeria's government is planning to introduce legislation specifically banning same-sex relationships and marriages. The ban would include criminal penalties of five years in jail for anyone who participates in a same-sex wedding—whether they are the bride, groom, or officiant—as well as for those who participate in public advocacy supporting the ...
GAO Report finds Frustration and Confusion in Countries Receiving U.S. Assistance for HIV/AIDS
On April 4, 2006, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released Global Health: Spending Requirement Presents Challenges for Allocating Prevention Funding under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief . Despite claiming to take a comprehensive approach to HIV-prevention, based on “ABC” (Abstain, be Faithful, and use Condoms) messages, ...
Gay-Straight Alliance Banned in North Carolina, Challenge Expected
The Rowan-Salisbury School Board in Charlotte, North Carolina voted unanimously on Monday, April 10 to “ban all sexually oriented clubs—gay, straight or otherwise—and to address any student's emotional issues concerning sexuality with guidance counselors.”1 The decision was made in response to efforts by students at South Rowan High School to form ...


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