FOF Applauds Bush’s Leadership on Global AIDS Bill

Focus on the Family
Wednesday, 28 May 2003

Focus on the Family applauded President Bush for putting people before politics by signing the Global AIDS Bill into law today. Tom Minnery, vice president of Public Policy for Focus on the Family, said it would save the lives of thousands of men and women and called it a victory for the people of Africa.

"We commend President Bush for his commitment to fight this horrible disease with strategies that will truly save lives and promote healthy behavior," said Minnery. "Abstinence is a crucial weapon in the war against HIV/AIDS. It played a significant role in lowering HIV/AIDS rates in Uganda and we are pleased that the president's Global AIDS Bill has made it a priority."

Uganda once had the highest HIV infection rate in the world, but after launching an aggressive program prioritizing abstinence and monogamy, the infection rate plummeted by as much as 70 percent due to the fact that young people delayed sexual activity.

H.R. 1298 earmarks at least one-third of prevention funds for abstinence programs and includes a conscience clause allowing faith-based groups to participate in the U.S.-funded HIV prevention efforts without being forced to promote or distribute condoms. In addition, the measure ensures that no funds go to groups that support the legalization of prostitution or human sex trafficking.

"We are grateful that President Bush rejected a strategy centered on the distribution of condoms—the same faulty approach that has only increased sexually transmitted diseases here in America," Minnery said. "We hope that all of Africa will experience more successes like the ones we've seen in Uganda as a result of this bill."

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