Planned Parenthood Guide Tells HIV-Infected Youth to Enjoy Sex, Denounces Laws on Disclosure of HIV/AIDS to Sexual Partners
Friday, April 09, 2010
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer
– In a guide for young people published by the
International Planned Parenthood Federation, the organization says it opposes
laws that make it a crime for people not to tell sexual partners they have HIV.
“Healthy, Happy and Hot” guide also tells young people who have the virus
that they have a right to “fun, happy and sexually fulfilling lives.”
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
“Some countries have laws that say people living with HIV must tell their sexual partner(s) about their status before having sex, even if they use condoms or only engage in sexual activity with a low risk of giving HIV to someone else,” the guide states. “These laws violate the rights of people living with HIV by forcing them to disclose or face the possibility of criminal charges.”
Under the heading “Sexual Pleasure and Well-Being,” the guide declares that it is a human right and not a criminal issue as to whether a person decides if or when to disclose their HIV status, even if they engage in sexual activities.
“You know best when it is safe for you to disclose your status,” the guide states. “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. They may not want people to know they are living with HIV because of the stigma and discrimination within their community.”
The guide continues: “They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like that they are using injecting drugs or, having sex outside of marriage or having sex with people of the same gender. People in long-term relationships who find out they are living with HIV sometime fear that their partner will react violently or end the relationship.”
“Young people living with HIV have the right to sexual pleasure,” the guide states under the heading “Sexual Pleasure; Have Fun Explore and Be Yourself.”
“Sex can feel great and can be really fun!” the guide says. “Many people think sex is just about vaginal and anal intercourse …. But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex.”
“Sex can include kissing, touching, licking, tickling, sucking and cuddling,” the guide states. “Some people like aggressive sex, while others like to have soft and slow sex with their partners (sic).”
“It’s a vile and vulgar brochure,” Austin Ruse, president of the United Nations watchdog group Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, told CNSNews.com.
Ruse’s group has been reporting on the “Healthy, Happy and Hot” guide in recent weeks after Sharon Slater, president of Family Watch International, attended an event for the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women and found copies of the guide in a room where Girl Scouts were meeting.
The Girls Scouts of the USA released a statement denying they were distributing the guides and suggesting the guides may already have been in the room they were using.
Ruse said that aside from the graphic promotion of sex for young people with HIV, the guide also falsely claims that there are international laws to protect their “human rights.”
“There is no such international right that says that you are not required to reveal your HIV status before having sex,” Ruse said. “There’s no such thing.”
“It is a flat-out lie to say otherwise, and in this brochure it is lies from stem to stern,” he said.
Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, told CNSNews.com: "To the extent that 'sexual rights' and 'reproductive rights' are mentioned in documents of the U.N. or other international agencies, even informally, these terms often have a meaning contrary to that which IPPF gives them. For example, 'sexual rights' usually means the right to say NO to unwanted or coerced sex -- not a right to HAVE sex under almost any circumstances.”
"By the same token, 'reproductive rights' usually involve the right to have children -- not the right to destroy them through abortion," Sprigg said, adding that laws requiring people to disclose to sexual partners that they have HIV protect people and promote sexual health.
IPPF defends its position, saying laws aimed at people with HIV hurt efforts to prevent the spread of the disease and discriminate unfairly against people who have the virus.
"Punitive laws that criminalise HIV transmission will jeopardise global HIV prevention efforts by acting as a disincentive for knowing one's HIV status and by incorrectly placing an undue burden of responsibility for all safe sex behaviour on people living with HIV (who in many societies are already marginalised and stigmatised)," Kevin Osborne, IPPF senior advisor on HIV told CNSNews.com. "Alternatives to the criminal law must be used to foster increased HIV prevention efforts and behaviours."
The guide also makes a plug for Planned Parenthood’s profitable “reproductive services.”
“Your local family planning clinic can help you create a plan, whether it is for having children safely, preventing or terminating unplanned pregnancies, or figuring out how to start a family if you are single or in a same-sex relationship,” the guide states.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America receives more than $350 million of taxpayer funding annually, although federal law prohibits those funds from being used for abortion.
In his early days in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order reversing the Mexico City Policy that prohibited the use of taxpayer funds to promote or provide abortions abroad, opening the way for U.S.-funded abortions around the world.