on HHS to Reconsider Rules Changes for HIV/AIDS Prevention Materials
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Whip
Steny Hoyer, and Congressman Henry Waxman, Ranking Democrat on the
Committee on Government Reform, sent a letter yesterday to Health
and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson asking him to reconsider
rules changes made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) that require HIV/AIDS prevention materials to undergo an additional
layer of review prior to distribution.
"This new requirement has yet to be justified by CDC, is not
accompanied by new funding, and has caused concerns among state
HIV/AIDS directors." The letter concluded by arguing that,
"The effective prevention of HIV transmission is too important
to be burdened by unnecessary additional review procedures."
also expresses concern about changes to requirements for the composition
of local review panels. Currently, panels consist of individuals
with expertise in both the HIV epidemic and target communities for
HIV prevention work. The new requirements will force local review
panels to include individuals with less experience in HIV prevention,
weakening public health oversight of prevention activities. The
CDC has provided no evidence to support this drastic change from
the system that has been in place over a decade.