February 14 Marks Condom Awareness Week: Global Shortage Still Prevalent
Today marks the first day of National Condom Week of Action. Even though consistent condom use reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission by 85 to 100 percent, men aged 15 to 59 in sub-Saharan African receive, on average, less than five condoms per year. According to UNAIDS, women now comprise 50 percent of those who have contracted the HIV virus. In Africa, where women are often not in a position to ask sexual partners to use condoms or other contraceptives, that figure is close to 60 percent.
Donor countries met only 25 percent of the global need for contraceptives in 2002, which include condoms, reports the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Due to inadequate aid efforts by the United States and other donor countries, acute shortages of condoms have been contributing the rapid rise in HIV/AIDS cases in Africa and other parts of the developing world. While advocating for abstinence-only HIV/AIDS prevention policies instead of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, the Bush administration has withdrawn $34 million annually since July 2002 for the UNFPA, an international organization that has been providing contraceptives and reproductive health services to the poorest people in the developing world that are at the highest risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Although the Bush Administration has stated that it supports the "ABC" HIV prevention model, which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms, the Administrationís global AIDS policy restricts one-third of its global HIV/AIDS prevention funding for abstinence-only promotion programs.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund¬†Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).¬†Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as¬†out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two¬†heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .