CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateUNITED STATES: Supreme Court To Decide Restrictions on Groups Fighting HIV/AIDS
January 14, 2013
Washington Post (01.11.13)
The US Supreme Court will resolve the question of whether overseas groups that receive US funding for HIV/AIDS prevention work must adopt policies explicitly prohibiting prostitution and sex trafficking. The case, US Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, is on the Supreme Court’s current docket.
The funding in question comes from the 2003 US Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act, which established billions in funding for worldwide prevention efforts. According to US Solicitor General Donald B Berrilli, Jr., the act requires that grantees address behavioral risks of HIV/AIDS as part of their work.
Overseas groups receiving these funds are counting on the protection of the First Amendment to help them win the case. Organizations like Pathfinder International and InterAction say the adoption of policies that oppose sex trafficking and prostitution would restrict their efforts to reach the most at-risk groups in places like Africa and Asia. The groups also say that the policies would also prevent them from speaking freely during activities paid for by private funding.