- The Washington Times - Friday, July 8, 2005


U.S. groups fighting AIDS overseas are being given an ultimatum by the government: Pledge your opposition to sex trafficking and prostitution or do without federal funds.

The new rule has created confusion among health groups that wonder how it will affect them, and has drawn criticism from others who say it infringes on free speech rights and could do more harm than good.

It will affect about $2.2 billion in AIDS grants and contracts this year, according to Kent Hill, acting assistant administrator for global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which recently issued a policy directive outlining the regulation.

Mr. Hill said the pledge is a tool the United States can use to make sure none of its money goes to support a practice he called degrading and debilitating.

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