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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Critics Say Bush Choice for Panel Advocates Abstinence
Lou Chibbaro Jr.
August 28, 2003
Southern Voice (Atlanta) (08.22.03) - Thursday, August 28,

In July, President Bush appointed three new members to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and some advocates are concerned as to their effect on HIV/AIDS programs.

Appointee Edward C. Green is a senior research scientist at the Harvard University School of Public Health and a medical anthropologist. Green is a recognized authority on global AIDS issues who specializes in AIDS in African nations. Earlier this year, Green told a Congressional committee he supports the "ABC" approach - which calls for people at risk for HIV to abstain, be faithful, or use condoms - to AIDS prevention in Africa.

But according to Douglas Feldman, an anthropology professor from the State University of New York who knows Green through anthropology circles, Green recently called condom promotion "a waste of time and money" and backs an abstinence-only approach to the epidemic in Africa.

Carl Schmid, a gay Republican activist, disputed claims that Green opposes condom-related programs. Schmid pointed to Green's March 20 testimony before a House subcommittee on health, in which he supported condom programs, in addition to abstinence and fidelity, as a part of AIDS prevention.

Along with Green, Bush appointed Benny Primm, a New York City physician and chair of the National Minority AIDS Council, to PACHA. Primm also specializes in substance-abuse treatment programs as a means of HIV prevention. AIDS and gay rights activists praise Primm for his sensitivity to gay issues.

Bush's third appointee to PACHA, Franklyn Judson, chief of infectious disease services at Denver Health Medical Center, favors mandatory contact tracing and partner notification for people testing HIV positive. AIDS activists say the stigma associated with AIDS makes it difficult to employ such methods for HIV prevention and could discourage testing.