An ICIJ Investigation

Divine Intervention: U.S. AIDS Policy Abroad

Conservative policy hinders U.S. initiatives to fight AIDS abroad by insisting on abstinence-only programs over promoting condom use.

  • A year-long investigation of President Bush’s initiative to fight AIDS abroad finds that conservative ideology hinders its real benefits by insisting on abstinence-only programs over promoting condom use.
  • In 2003, President George W. Bush asked Congress to appropriate $15 billion for an international AIDS initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — a plan that, while seeking to treat those infected with HIV/AIDS and prevent the spread of the disease, is hindered by conservative ideologies.
  • ICIJ found that PEPFAR actually restricts the use of funds because of its ties to faith-based organizations that promote abstinence-only programs and overlook the importance of other courses of action such as condom use.

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