New Bills Would Facilitate HIV Research
Bills introduced in the Senate and House would increase AIDS medical research. Representative Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) introduced legislation (HR 1420 and SB 823) that would promote the development of microbicides, topical gels, creams, suppositories, films, and sponges, that may provide effective protection against the sexual transmission of HIV. If passed, these bills will amend the current Public Health Service Act. Currently the Public Health Service Act makes general provisions for HIV health care services only in relation to blood banks.
Over 37.2 million adults are living with AIDS. Young women are especially vulnerable to HIV transmission, with sub-Saharan women ages 15-24 contracting the disease at a rate three times higher than men in the same age group. Women's rights advocates are hopeful that microbicides will enable women to have more control over their sexual health, even if they lack the social or economic agency to insist that their partners wear condoms.
Media Resources: HR 1420; SB 823; Kaiser Network 03/15/2007