Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Bush vs. Science Here's the latest salvo in the Bush administration's war on science, from The New York Times:

The administration is using pseudoscience to justify its decisions. Randall Tobias, its AIDS coordinator, has said numerous times that condoms are not effective at preventing the spread of AIDS in the general population. He repeated this assertion while testifying in the House of Representatives in March, citing the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Mr. Tobias is wrong. The dean of the London School wrote to him to say that the school had never produced any such report, and that its research shows that condoms do work.

Mr. Tobias and others in the administration often cite Uganda as a place where AIDS transmission was reduced by teaching youth to be abstinent. But Ugandans — and more neutral researchers — say that condom use plays a big role. In Zambia and Brazil, condom use has also reduced AIDS transmission, but administration officials do not talk about these countries.

The willingness of the Bush administration to promote abstinence-only programs for AIDS prevention, despite the unambiguous evidence against their efficacy, is entirely a sop to the religious right. It seems they prefer death and suffering to contraception. These are the same folks who lecture the rest of us about creating a culture of life. Lovely.