I am travelling. When I travel I like to watch BBC World Service. It's much better than CNN international and you can't get Fox outside the USA. I watched Hardtalk in which the US ambassador for our HIV initiative, Mark Dybul, was being accosted by a smug, supercilious BBC interviewer about the moral underpinnings of policy. In addition to posing anecdotal and erroneous statements to Mark, the BBC displayed a horrible bias in their reprot. Some key facts.

1 - The USA contributes the largest amount to HIV eradication than the rest of the world combined.
2 - The USA policy is science based with a three tiered approach in the developing world (Abstinence, Behavior, Condoms)
3 - HIV is on the uptick due to educational gaps across the world, including some poorly chosen statements from some ;frican leaders and underreporting in Asia.
4 - The impact of the sex trade is a major contributor to viral propogation.

In my opinion the BBC did a disservice to the anti-HIV effort. Dybul did a great job answering questions.


Anonymous said…
agree with all you say, although I think the whole "abstinence" approach, forefront in U.S. HIV policy, is actually a policy being driven, in my opinion, by the Religious Right,and is one of the most ludicrous notions to come along in a while. Although I did not hear the interview, I think this is what the supercilious interviewer might have been trying to get at. Bottom line: People have sex. It is as much of drive, need, whatever, as is hunting and gathering in order to feed ourselves. Are people intelligent about it? No. But to say to everyone "stop having sex" is like trying to enforce prohibtion. (This also ties in with the RR's apoplexy about the cervical cancer giving it to young women, it is somehow encouraging them to have sex? Huh? What happens when there is a vaccine for HIV? Don't give it to them? It will encourage them to have sex? I wait for that argument...). Our policy should be A) Education and Awareness B)TALKING about HOW to have sex safely, not to NOT have it at all or "wait til marriage (try telling THAT to my high school students), and exposing the charlatans in and out of government who are in denial that HIV causes AIDS, and also that there is some kind of magical, natural cure ("having sex with a virgin").

Oh yeah, and happy valentines day!
Major John said…
BBC - biased?! Please say it ain't so!

They went around the bend years ago. The pity of it is that they are still regarded as a good "news" source in a large part of Asia.