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The introduction by the Trump government of the so-called Global Gag Rule, which prevents foreign aid from going into groups offering abortion services, is already damaging the efforts of the AIDS epidemic, the advocates and the researchers said on Friday.
The new policy also leads to closures of clinics providing broad health services, including AIDS drugs, they said at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. And it could ruin years of efforts to build health systems in developing countries.
"I think there is a real potential for an increase in HIV infection," said Brian Honermann, Deputy Director of Public Policy at AMFAR, the AIDS Research Foundation
"The implementation of the policy in kind and The way it's done bothers the services, "Honermann told NBC News.
"Often we see some clinics nearby."
The policy, officially referred to as "Protecting Life in World Health Aid," prohibits granting US federal funds to any foreign organization that carries out abortions or, in many cases, even as an option for them To mention women. It requires groups that receive US funds not to use money from any source of abortions.
So groups need to dispense all US funds if they want to maintain abortion in their service mix, or if they want to support other groups that do.
The rule has been repealed and reintroduced by various administrations for more than 30 years. Former US President Barack Obama lifted it with one of his first executive orders
Under former President George W. Bush, the rule was for family planning groups. However, President Donald Trump's executive order in 201
Global health organizations warned that this would nullify decades of efforts to combat the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic that causes AIDS
And now they say they have evidence.
HIV infects nearly 37 million people worldwide, according to the UNAIDS United Nations Organization. Increased efforts, often led by the US, mean that nearly 22 million people are receiving HIV medications that can keep them healthy and prevent further transmission of the virus.
But they need access to clinics to get the drugs
And because money to fight AIDS has been integrated into programs that serve to enable the general health care of people who could not reach it before this will cause much more damage.
"We Found This Small Community NGOs that had 10 to 15 service providers now had to reduce to five or even three," said Tikhala Itaye, chairwoman of the global SheDecides movement, a women's rights group.
Reducing services can hit women particularly hard because in most countries that are most affected by HIV, the virus is sexually transmitted. "In sub-Saharan Africa, three out of every four new infections are between 15 and 19 years old, and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 are twice as likely to live with HIV than men," UNAIDS said in a statement.
So work HIV prevention often begins with the provision of health care in general for women. And this concern is disturbed, said Itaye at a press conference at the AIDS meeting.
"In Kenya, for example, the Center for Youth Health was in a situation where they supported 15,000 young girls with HIV, and they had to reduce that to under 10,000," she said.
"Now we are dealing with an increase in unsafe abortions, they use glass or they use hot oil or they use chopsticks," Itaye added.
She called the policy "a violation of the basic reproductive health rights of every woman and every girl."
Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation said her team is trying to analyze how many organizations could be affected by politics.
It concerns PEPFAR, the president's contingency plan for AIDS relief, which not only fights AIDS, but also improves health services around the world
"Our analysis has shown that the expanded policy is likely to affect hundreds of NGOs "Kates said. For example, she said 264 groups receive money directly through PEPFAR and would be affected, as well as the many more than one hundred organizations that are indirectly funded.
In some cases, Honermann said, health or relief organizations would not be able to accept funding from their own governments.
"The HIV response, it's still an emergency," said Chloë Cooney of Planned Parenthood Global and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America at the press conference.
"We should not disqualify anyone … who can be part of the answer," Cooney added. "We need everyone who can do a good job to be there."
Cooney said the true impact of politics may not have been seen for years.
"Some of the biggest damage to the Global Gag Rule will not be measurable on a broad or national scale until it's too late to reverse course," Cooney said.
"The nature of the Global Gag Rule is that it hides the damage it creates."
Affected Groups Englisch: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 263 & lang = en They do not want to talk openly about the potential effects, because they fear that they will make goals for larger budget cuts, said Honermann.
"Nobody really wants to talk about this policy," Honermann told the press conference.