May 4, 2005

Brazil rejects Bush AIDS program

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at May 4, 2005 2:50 PM

Via Boing Boing,

Brazil spurns US terms for Aids help

Brazil yesterday became the first country to take a public stand against the Bush administration's massive Aids programme which is seen by many as seeking increasingly to press its anti-abortion, pro-abstinence sexual agenda on poorer countries.

Campaigners applauded Brazil's rejection of $40m for its Aids programmes because it refuses to agree to a declaration condemning prostitution.

The government and many Aids organisations believe such a declaration would be a serious barrier to helping sex workers protect themselves and their clients from infection.

I always enjoy seeing the middle finger raised at the Bush administration, but I hope they did the cost/benefit on this one. The argument would have to be that the damage to public health from adopting the puritanical riders to the Bush money is greater than $40 million of benefits. This is certainly plausible, but not obviously true. (There's also a certain benefit to refusing to allow American religious conservatives to dictate your nation's social policy. On the other hand, this is hard to quantify, and the typical Brazilian AIDS sufferer may not care too much.)

Brazil does have a history of this sort of thing. Remember when the US started fingerprinting foreign visitors, and in retaliation Brazil started fingerprinting Americans? That was great.

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