From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Calls on HHS to Reconsider Rules Changes for HIV/AIDS Prevention Materials

September 12, 2003

Washington, 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.

They wrote, "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."

The letter 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.

View the letter




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