Exploiting the HIV/AIDS Crisis to Advance Controversial Sexual Rights 


As the documentary Cultural Imperialism shows, under the Obama administration, the U.S. government, in coordination with several United Nations entities, has been pressuring countries experiencing high rates of HIV/AIDS to destigmatize and lift restrictions on the very behaviors that spread HIV at the highest rates.


Dr. Edward Green, during his tenure as the HIV/AIDS prevention project director at Harvard, found that this sexual rights approach to HIV prevention championed by Western countries and the United Nations may actually be increasing infection rates in Africa.


An example of the sexual rights approach to addressing the AIDS pandemic is evidenced by a booklet called “Healthy, Happy and Hot,”[1] distributed by International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) at the United Nations. This publication was available to youth at a UN meeting sponsored by Girl Scouts of the USA. The booklet has been distributed in other UN conferences and meetings for youth. IPPF created “Healthy, Happy and Hot” for HIV-infected youth.  It teaches them about their alleged “sexual rights” relating to sexual pleasure, sexual orientation and gender identity. IPPF claims that sexual rights are recognized around the world as “human rights.”


The following excerpts illustrate the philosophy behind comprehensive sexuality education programs that take the sexual rights approach to AIDS prevention. This is what Planned Parenthood and a number of other groups funded by some UN agencies (and thus the United States government, as they provide almost a third of the UN’s budget) feel is appropriate to teach children as young as age 10.




  •  “Sexual rights relate to a person’s sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity. . .”
  • “Young people living with HIV have the right to sexual pleasure.”
  •  “Sexual and reproductive rights are recognized around the world as human rights.”
  • “Explore your partner’s body with your hands and mouth.”
  • “. . . act out your fantasies.”
  • “Talk dirty. . .”
  • “Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse . . .  there are lots of different ways to have sex . . . licking, tickling, sucking, and cuddling.”
  • “Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body. . .”


Remember, this booklet is for youth infected with an incurable, sexually transmitted disease and yet its stated purpose it is to support the “sexual pleasure” of these youth. Even more concerning is the fact that it tells HIV-infected youth that they can decide whether or not to tell their sexual partners they are infected and that laws that force them to disclose their status to sexual partners violate their human rights.


Could IPPF and the agencies that support IPPF actually want children in developing countries to have sex and infect each other? Planned Parenthood stands to profit enormously, since their business is providing sex counseling, condoms, HIV and pregnancy testing, abortions, and HIV treatment—all services that only become necessary if a child is sexually active. If they can sexualize a child at an early age, they can create a lifetime client to fuel their business.


UN Report: Legalize Prostitution and Homosexual Sex to Stop AIDS


A report issued by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, established by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, claims that all nations must legalize prostitution as part of any successful effort to deal with the AIDS pandemic. This report, titled “HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health,” also calls for the legalization and destigmatization of intravenous drug use and sexual relations between males—all in the name of AIDS prevention.


Ironically, the report acknowledges that “sex workers” (the euphemism used for prostitutes), intravenous drug users, and “men who have sex with men” have the highest incidence of AIDS; yet, the commission still called upon nations to legalize and destigmatize these risky behaviors.


The report relies on the same arguments that have been made for some time now by the Obama administration, UNAIDS and other UN agencies.[2]


The argument goes something like this:


In many countries, prostitutes, drug users and male homosexuals feel marginalized because their behavior is either outlawed or is not considered acceptable by society. As a result, they argue, these “vulnerable” individuals will not come forward for counseling, testing and treatment, and so they will continue to spread AIDS at a much higher rate than if they accessed these services.


They claim that governments must not only legalize these high-risk behaviors but also destigmatize them through public campaigns and comprehensive sexuality education programs in the schools. As a result, these high-risk individuals will not be afraid to come forward and take advantage of HIV-related services.


The problem with his logic is that in order to destigmatize a sexual behavior (i.e., men having sex with men or selling sexual services), you have to convince people that the behavior is not bad, and, to do this, you have to promote it as good, healthy or worthy of respect or acceptance. In this process, under the banner of AIDS prevention, you may end up encouraging people to engage in sexual behaviors that have the highest risk for contracting and spreading the disease.


Now let’s suppose you accomplish your goal and you destigmatize promiscuous sex. What if the AIDS rate still does not go down, or what if it even increases? Would you reconsider your strategy? Would you start programs to discourage these sexual behaviors? That would depend on whether your priority was sexual health or sexual freedom. The two are not compatible.


In France, where sodomy has been legal for a long time and more widely accepted than in many other countries, the HIV infection rate among MSM [men who have sex with men] is said to be “out of control.”


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a fact sheet showing that the only group in the U.S. in which HIV infection rates are dramatically rising is in the population of men who have sex with men, even though homosexual sex is legal in the United States and increasingly being “destigmatized.”


Consider the fact that once a behavior is legalized and destigmatized, whether sexual or otherwise, that behavior is likely to increase, not decrease. Therefore, destigmatizing homosexual sex and prostitution will likely increase these behaviors, and if these high-risk behaviors increase, there will likely be more sexually transmitted infections.


Yet, despite these facts, President Obama issued a directive to all U.S. embassies and agencies that have activities abroad to make advancing homosexual and transgender “rights” a foreign policy “priority.”  The claim by the Obama administration is that this will help African countries decrease their AIDS rates.


Wouldn’t it be better to simply establish confidentiality laws and policies that would allow high-risk individuals to obtain HIV-related services without fear of being penalized for seeking help?   Wouldn’t it be better to set up programs that would provide counseling to help people change their high-risk behaviors rather than condone them?


Two well-known epidemiologists, Daniel Reidpath and Kit Yee Chan, have noted that stigma can actually have a positive effect on a society’s health.[3] While the cost of stigma is always some individual suffering, the benefit can actually be lives saved. Consider the social stigma associated with smoking, drinking and driving, or pedophilia. The results of these social stigmas are ultimately a healthier society, the protection of our children, and lives saved.


Dr. Green stated in his book, Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World, “…stigma can be a potent ally in fighting HIV. Although the price would be hurt feelings to the promiscuous, the gain would be countless lives saved . . . In the AIDS world, we’ve stigmatized those who recommended sexual caution, and the price has been hurt feelings too, plus countless preventable deaths.[4]


What is really behind the push to protect these high-risk behaviors in the name of HIV/AIDS prevention?


It is a thinly disguised manipulation of the AIDS pandemic and the UN system by sexual rights activists to mainstream promiscuous sexual behavior in societies around the world, regardless of the consequences.


The Global Commission on HIV and the Law revealed its bias when they cited the notorious Yogyakarta Principles in their report as a guide for promoting the sexual rights of “sexual minorities.” Among other assertions, the Yogyakarta Principles, which were created by international sexual rights activists, is their claim that “sexual rights” trump free speech and religious liberty rights. The Principles even claim that governments are obligated to help people with sex-change operations.


This UN commission report is another example of sexual rights advocates putting their agenda ahead of any other considerations, including the safety and health of individuals as well as the larger society.


The Condom Lie


The U.S. government and United Nations entities have focused primarily on condom promotion and distribution as an AIDS prevention strategy. However, there are several evidence-based reasons why this approach has failed. 


Due to defects or inappropriate use, condoms can only provide partial protection and do not provide 100 percent or near complete protection as many claim. Since condom failures can sometimes result in a deadly disease (which is an unacceptable result), condoms should not be relied on to prevent HIV infections.


Prevention approaches should seek to eliminate risk, not just to reduce it. The benefits of condoms are only attainable by those who use condoms every time, yet studies show that couples fail to use condoms consistently even when they are highly motivated to use them. Surprisingly, studies have found that even most discordant couples (where one of the partners is known to be HIV positive) report failing to use condoms each time they have sex.[5] 


A 2002 UNAIDS study in four African cities found that condoms had virtually no measurable effect on HIV levels.[6] Another UNAIDS study “found no evidence that condoms alone had played a major role in HIV prevalence decline anywhere in Africa,”[7] yet UNAIDS continues to promote condom use above all other preventative measures, as if these studies had never been done.


In fact, increased condom use often correlates with greater HIV risk.[8] According to Dr. Edward Green, more condom use is associated with more casual and commercial sex and often higher—not lower—HIV infection rates.[9] “If you want to protect them, you [need to] use something other than a condom.” Dr. Green further posited, “Condoms remained as ineffective by 2010 as they were in 1994 or 2001 or 2007. Indeed, the high-quality studies still show that none of the Western-conceived ‘best practices’ have ever had any effect on generalized epidemics.” (For a list of studies cited as support, see footnote.)[10]


Such findings have been replicated over and over again by other researchers. Perhaps the most interesting articles summarizing such findings are from James Shelton, of the Bureau for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In his own words, he notes,


“My devotion to condoms spans nearly three decades,” and “I have steadfastly helped my agency provide billions and helped develop new ones, including the female condom.”[11] Yet Shelton has publicly acknowledged that “condoms alone have limited impact in generalized epidemics. Many people dislike using them (especially in regular relationships), protection is imperfect, use is often irregular, and condoms seem to foster disinhibition, in which people engage in risky sex either with condoms or with the intention of using condoms.”[12]


Shelton’s intellectual honesty is based on overwhelming evidence from a variety of countries. For example, two studies found that the promotion of condoms at an early stage proved to be counterproductive in Botswana, whereas the lack (and distaste) of condom promotion during the 1980s and early 1990s helped the relative success of behavior change strategies in Uganda promoted by its government (i.e., abstention before and fidelity within marriage).[13] 


A broader study (Stoneburner and Low-Beer) found that despite substantial condom use in Malawi, Zambia and Kenya, these countries have shown neither similar behavioral responses nor HIV prevalence declines of the same scale as in Uganda.[14] In addition, prominent experts[15] in HIV prevention with long experience in the developing world published evidence that where HIV prevalence has declined among pregnant women, the primary reported behavior change has been partner reduction and monogamy by men, especially older men, not increased condom use.[16] The list of studies indicating that condoms fail to adequately protect against HIV is long.


For people who choose not to abstain from sex or practice fidelity, condoms have a role in HIV/AIDS prevention. It is possible that individuals who use condoms consistently and correctly 100 percent of the time might reduce their chances of contracting HIV. But individuals are entitled to full disclosure of the statistics with regard to the risks and failure rates of condoms.  


The Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Lie


Much effort and resources have been spent to make counseling and testing available to those at risk of HIV/AIDS infection with the hope that such programs would decrease infection.  However, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) programs are also the most expensive non-drug methods for preventing HIV infections, at about $400 to $500 per infection avoided.[17] 


In addition to cost, another serious problem with VCT is the fact that many VCT programs have a “sexual freedom first” philosophy, and the counseling they provide likely will not discourage the high-risk behavior of their clients.


Two studies have shown that VCT programs in rural Uganda had virtually no impact on behavior change, and additional studies have shown that VCT programs did not affect the infection rate.[18] However, VCT also appears to have a darker side. There is some evidence to show that VCT programs encourage condom usage, but these programs also appear to lead participants into riskier behaviors. When people repeatedly test negative for HIV/AIDS, they tend to believe they are either difficult to infect, or they have some unique ability to choose “clean” partners. The result is that sexual behavior can become uninhibited.[19]


More ominous still is that VCT programs can actually lead to a higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS, as those who test negative might wrongfully assume they are not infected with HIV. Green noted that “traditional HIV testing can’t identify people in the super-contagious stage right after infection, before antibodies are visible.”[20] U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke also has acknowledged that VCT programs only help get people into treatment; VCT does very little to actually prevent HIV/AIDS.[21] 


ABC Approach Found to be Most Effective


AIDS first appeared in Uganda in 1982. By 1988, Uganda had the highest percentage of HIV infections in the world. In 1991, 15 percent of the total population was infected (21 percent in urban areas). As a result of this pandemic, in 1986 Uganda started a revolutionary program (without any input from the West) known as ABC—Abstain (delay sexual debut), Be Faithful, then Condoms.


According to President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s ABC program consisted of:


  • Extensive public promotion of fidelity and delay of sexual debut (behavior change);
  • Bold leadership at the highest level;
  • Community participation, with open, face-to-face discussions about AIDS;
  • Involvement of religious leaders;
  • Involvement of people living with HIV;
  • Deliberate use of “fear appeals” to spur behavior change;
  • Fight against AIDS-associated stigma;
  • AIDS education in primary schools, to reach children before they become sexually active; and
  • Special targeting of women and youth.[22] 


What was the result of the ABC approach in Uganda? According to WHO and UNAIDS, from 1989 to 1995 both men and women saw a remarkable drop in the reported number of casual partners (35 percent down to 15 percent for men, and 16 percent to 6 percent for women).


More surprisingly, men reporting three or more partners declined from 15 percent to 3 percent. Additionally, a study of urban youth found a two-year delay in sexual debut among those people aged 15 years old to 24 years old.[23]


But how did the ABC approach affect HIV rates? Uganda’s program cut its AIDS rate by two-thirds, from 15 percent to 5 percent between 1991 and 2004, before condoms were widely available within the country.


Rand L. Stoneburner, MD, a former WHO epidemiologist, estimated that had the ABC program been implemented in South Africa alone, it might have saved 3.2 million lives between 2000 and 2010. Further, 80 percent of all HIV infections in sub-Sahara Africa might have been prevented.[24]


In 2004, The Lancet printed a consensus statement which recommended ABC programs for populations with general epidemics, emphasizing fidelity and delay of sexual debut.[25] This consensus statement enjoyed the support of leading HIV researchers, such as Helene Gayle (former head of the CDC), Ward Cates (president of Family Health International), and more than 140 other experts from 36 different countries. The statement included these principles:


  • On Fidelity – “When targeting sexually active adults, the first priority should be to promote mutual fidelity.”


  • On Partner Reduction – “Partner reduction is of central epidemiological importance in achieving larger-scale HIV incidence reduction.”


UN HIV/AIDS Guidelines: Legalize Same-sex Marriage and Abortion to Combat AIDS


The sexual rights approach to AIDS prevention is encapsulated in a very dangerous document called the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights


It is no accident that “and human rights” appears in the title of these Guidelines. This document, facilitated by UNAIDS, the UN agency charged with combatting AIDS throughout the world, tells countries that to fight AIDS, nations must legalize “abortion,” “adultery,” “sodomy,” “fornication,” “commercial sexual encounters,” and “same-sex marriage.” In other words, they want governments to legalize and protect all forms of promiscuous sex.


UNAIDS has the data showing that promiscuous sex—whether it be heterosexual or homosexual sex—spreads AIDS at the highest rates, yet they promote sexual rights at the expense of the sexual health of millions of people—ironically all under the banner of AIDS prevention.


These Guidelines state, “It is the State’s obligation to ensure, in every cultural and religious tradition, that appropriate means are found so that effective HIV information is included in educational programmes inside and outside schools,” and “The provision of education and information to children should not be considered as promoting early sexual experimentation; rather, as studies indicate, it delays sexual activity.”


Although the UNAIDS HIV/AIDS Guidelines do not use the term “comprehensive sexuality education” the document calls for it with other words and, in doing so, reveals the true motives of sexual rights activists. It states that irrespective of a person’s culture or religion, governments must “ensure” that HIV education is taught “inside and outside” of schools. In other words, the Guidelines claim a right to give children explicit sexuality education under the banner of HIV education, which trumps the religious rights of parents to protect their children from such explicit education.


The Guidelines claim HIV education is a government obligation, and it is not hard to guess what kind of education is meant. It would likely be the kind of “education” promoted in International Planned Parenthood’s “Healthy, Happy and Hot” booklet or the kind pushed by another UN agency, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in sexuality education guidelines they published. The original UNESCO guidelines call for instructing five-year-old children about masturbation.


Things that would have been considered unthinkable, and even viewed as crimes, just 10 years ago are now being promoted by powerful organizations and some UN entities under the banner of “sexual rights” and “human rights.”


Beware of alleged “human rights.” Beware of “human rights education,” which is used as a Trojan horse to promote a plethora of sexual rights to children without the knowledge or consent of parents.


As these alleged human rights advance, the rights of parents and religious liberties are being destroyed. At UN conferences these “rights” are debated and fought over as the world grapples with which worldview will be translated into UN policies that are then promoted as international rights throughout the world.


[1] Healthy, Happy, and Hot published by IPPF, available: http://ippf.org/resources/publications/healthy-happy-hot 

[2] The International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, sponsored by the joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, claim that any stigmatization or legal restraints on sexual activity will increase infection rates by driving high-risk individuals into hiding and beyond the reach of HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

[3] Daniel Reidpath and Kit Yee Chan, “HIV, Stigma, and Rates of Infection: A Rumor without Evidence,” PLoS Med 3, no.10 (2006): e435.

[4] Green, Edward C., “Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World,” PoliPointPress, LLC (2011), p.90. Dr. Green was a Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and served as director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. He was appointed to serve as a member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (2003–2007), served on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health (2003–2006), and serves on the board of AIDS.org and the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.  He has worked for over 30 years in international development.  Much of his work since the latter 1980s has been in AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, primarily in Africa, but also in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He has served as a public health advisor to the governments of both Mozambique and Swaziland.

[5] Susan Allen et al., “Effect of Serotesting with Counseling on Condom Use and Seroconversion among HIV Discordant Couples in Africa,” BMJ 304 (June 20, 1992): 1605-9, 1607.

[6] Norman Hearst and Sanny Chen, “Condom Promotion for AIDS Prevention in the Developing World: Is It Working?” Studies in Family Planning 35, no. 1 (2004): 39-47.

[7] Ibid.

[8] P. Kajubi, M. R. Kamya, S. Kamya, S. Chen, W. McFarland, and N. Hearst, “Increasing Condom Use without Reducing HIV Risk: Results of a Controlled Community Trial in Uganda,” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 40, no. 1 (2005): 77-82.

[9] Supra note 4 at 209.

[10] Deborah Watson-Jones, et al., “Risk Factors for HIV Incidence in Women Participating in an HSV Suppressive Treatment Trial in Tanzania,” AIDS 23 (2009):415-22.  James D. Shelton, et al., “Partner Reduction Is Crucial for Balanced ‘ABC’ Approach to HIV Prevention,” BMJ 328, no. 10 (April 2004): 891-93.  Rand L. Stoneburner and Daniel Low-Beer, “Population-level HIV Declines and Behavioral Risk Avoidance in Uganda,” Science, no. 304 (30 April 2004): 714-18.   Halperin and Epstein, “Concurrent Sexual Partnerships Help Explain Africa’s High HIV Prevalence,” Lancet 363 (2004): 4-6.  Hearst and Chen, “Condom Promotion for AIDS Prevention in the Developing World: Is It Working?” Studies in Family Planning 35, no. 1 (2004): 39-47.

[11] James D. Shelton, “Confessions of a Condom Lover,” The Lancet, Issue 9551 (2 December 2006):1947-1949; available:  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)69787-0/fulltext.

[12] James D. Shelton, “Ten Myths and One Truth About Generalized HIV Epidemics,” The Lancet,” Issue 9602 (1 December 2007): 1809-1811; available:  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(07)61755-3/fulltext#aff1.

[13] Tim Allen and Suzete Heald. “HIV/AIDS policy in Africa: What has worked in Uganda and what has failed in Botswana,” Journal of International Development, no. 16 (2002):1141–54; available:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jid.1168/pdf. Tim Allen lived, taught and researched in East Africa from 1980–84, carried out doctoral fieldwork in northern Uganda between 1987 and 1991, and has subsequently worked on several research, media and consultancy projects in Uganda and other parts of Africa. Suzette Heald did her initial doctoral fieldwork in Uganda in the late 1960s and has been involved in anthropological research in East Africa ever since. In 1997, she took up a two-year appointment to teach at the University of Botswana and carried out research on AIDS while she was there. Together with Tim Allen, she made a brief return visit to Botswana in July 2003, at the invitation of ACHAP (African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership).

[14] Rand L. Stoneburner, MD, and Daniel Low-Beer, PhD, “Population-level HIV Declines and Behavioral Risk Avoidance in Uganda,” Science, no. 304 (30 April 2004): 714-18.

[15] Daniel Halperin, Vinaud Nantulya, Malcolm Potts, Helen Gayle and King Holmes.

[16] James D. Shelton, Daniel Halperin, Vinand Nantulya, Malcolm Potts, Helen D. Gayle and King K. Holmes, “Partner Reduction is Crucial for Balanced ‘ABC’ Approach to HIV Prevention,” BMJ 328 (2004): 891 (cited in David Wilson, “Partner Reduction and the Prevalence of HIV/AIDS,” 328 BMJ (2004):848).

[17] A. Creese, K. Floyd, A. Alban, et al., “Cost-effectiveness of HIV/AIDS Interventions in Africa: A Systematic Review of the Evidence,” Lancet 360, no. 9336 (2002): 880.

[18] These studies are discussed in E.C. Green, Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Success in Developing Countries (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003).  See also J.K.B. Matovu, et al., “Repetitive VCT, Sexual Risk Behavior, and HIV-incidence in Rakai, Uganda,” presentation at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe, Uganda, November 28, 2003.

[19] J.K. Matovu, et al., “Sexually Transmitted Infection Management, Safer Sex Promotion and Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing in the Male Circumcision Trial, Rakai, Uganda,” Reproductive Health Matters 15, no. 29 (May 2007): 68-74.

[20] Supra note 4 at 151.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Supra note 4 at 36.

[23] G. Asiimwe-Okiror, A. A. Opio, J. Musinguzi. E. Madraa, G. Tembo, and M. Carael, “Change in Sexual Behavior and Decline in HIV Infection among Youhg Preganant Women in Urban Uganda,” AIDS 11 (1997): 1757-63.

[24] Arthur Allen, “Sex Change,” The New Republic, May 27, 2002, available online at http://www.tnr.com/article/sex-change.

[25] D. T. Halperin, M. J. Steiner, M.M. Cassell, et al., “The Time Has Come for Common Ground on Preventing Sexual Transmission of HIV,” Lancet 364 (2004): 1,913-15.

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