Sept. 22, 2004 – Advocacy groups are bracing as the federal government is proposing to put restrictions on AIDS education, requiring programs to discuss problems with using condoms and putting any explicit materials up for review by state public health authorities. Physicians and executives from AIDS agencies argue that these measures will obscure their message and create confusion.
In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposed the regulations, saying their aim was to make sure the prevention messages reach those who need to hear them the most, like teens and other groups at high risk of contracting the disease, and to increase accountability over the $227 million federal allotment to AIDS education.
With HIV infections on the rise among youth and gay men and no vaccine in site, AIDS education activists say condoms are the best weapon against the spread of the disease. "To obfuscate that and to make the issue cloudy really is of no benefit for prevention efforts," said Dr. Elizabeth Miller, who works at a clinic run by Massachusetts General Hospital.