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Corruption Chronicles

$1.8 Mil To Treat STDs In Guatemala

Spending is out of control! Images @ Getty Images

As the U.S. economy continues on a downward spiral, the Obama Administration keeps pouring money into questionable causes like this week’s $1.8 million allocation to treat and prevent sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala.

While this may seem like a noble cause, the timing is less than ideal. Americans are living through a crippling, historic national debt ($15 trillion and counting) and record-high unemployment. Watching their government pour cash into these sorts of foreign causes may only add to the frustration.

Never the less, this has not affected Uncle Sam’s generosity. In the latest of several like-minded allocations, the Obama Administration will sponsor what it calls “health initiatives” to improve “global human research protections.” The cash is being disbursed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve treatment and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will pitch in an additional $775,000 to support the Guatemalan Ministry of Health and Social Assistance, according to this week’s HHS announcement. Under that plan “surveillance and control” of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among at-risk populations will be improved.

In the last few years the Obama Administration has dedicated substantial amounts of public dollars to similar initiatives in third-world countries. Among them is a genitalia-washing program for uncircumcised African men and a condom program for injecting drug addicts in a Central Asian nation famous for illicit drug production and opiate consumption.

The African genitalia-washing program cost U.S. taxpayers $1 million. The goal behind that project was to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa by convincing uncircumcised men to develop an effective after-sex, genitalia-washing regime. The official wording of the publicly-funded study was to evaluate the “feasibility and acceptability of a post-coital male genital hygiene procedure” among Africans unwilling to be circumcised.

Months earlier the government spent $2 million to promote condom use among injecting drug addicts in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet socialist republic that serves as a main route for Russia and Europe bound narcotics. The mission was to study methods that could help combat the spread of AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and Hepatitis C among intravenous drug addicts in the region and to “reduce unsafe injection practices” among junkies.


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