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Proposed Resolution Condemning Actions Against LGBT and HIV Related Research and Service Delivery

  • Date: Nov 09 2004
  • Policy Number: 200410

Key Words:

The leadership of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and some members of Congress have taken actions that will limit the free exchange of scientific information, intimidate researchers and staff at the National Institutes of Health, and create obstacles for those who both write and review applications to receive funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)- and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related research and service delivery. Recent actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Withholding $75,000 originally offered for a 2002 conference on Lesbian Health issues that DHHS had supported in; 20011,2
  • Removing information on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections from the CDC Web site;3,4 
  • Calling for investigations and defunding of LGBT- and HIV-related research projects by members of Congress;5
  • Deciding not to support a 2003 United Nations sponsored resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation;6 and
  • Supporting statements made by a Member of Congress equating homosexuality with bestiality.7,8

Whereas the above actions will have the effect of lessening support for LGBT and HIV research, and threatening the health of LGBT people and people with HIV disease.

Whereas the attack on research and programming for LGBT people comes at a time when the previous surgeon general, the American Public Health Association, and other medical and health organizations are calling for increased LGBT research and lessening disparities based on sexual orientation and gender identity.9-13

Whereas research and programs directed toward the health needs of LGBT people and people with HIV disease are now facing the prospect of being disproportionately targeted by federal agencies and losing their funding.14-16

Whereas these activities have created an environment detrimental to LGBT- and HIV-related health research and program development.

Therefore, the American Public Health Association:

  • Urges Congressional leaders to investigate attempts to undermine the scientific peer-review process at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and other federal agencies. 
  • Urges the DHHS, the CDC, other federal agencies, and Congress to cease all actions that unfairly jeopardize LGBT- and HIV-related research and service delivery programs. 
  • Urges that DHHS recommit to end health disparities based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. 
  • Urges that the president of the United States of America, Congress, and DHHS publicly support the integrity of scientific peer-review processes of all federal agencies.

References

  1. Lesbian conference lost help of HHS: Gay health advocates say administration ignoring issues. Washington Post October 3, 2002:A17.
  2. Lesbian Health Conference Held After Federal Funding Was Pulled. Gayhealth.com. October 4, 2002. Available online at http://www.gayhealth.com/iowa-robot/common/feature.html?record=805.
  3. Waxman, Henry. "To Secretary Thompson." December 18, 2002. Letter regarding Public Health Information on Federal Websites. Available online at http://www.house.gov/reform/min/pdfs/pdf_inves/pdf_admin_hhs_info_dec_18_protest_let.pdf.
  4. Union of Concerned Scientists (2004). Scientific Integrity in Policymaking: An Investigation into the Bush Administration’s Misuse of Science. Available online at http://www2.ucsusa.org/documents/RSI_final_fullreport.pdf.
  5. Kaiser J. Politics and biomedicine: Studies of gay men, prostitutes come under scrutiny. Science. April 2003;300(5618):403.
  6. Feminist Majority Foundation. US to abstain from UN human rights/sexual orientation resolution. Available at: www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=7736.
  7. Associated Press. Sen. Rick Santorum’s comments on homosexuality in an AP interview. San Francisco Chronicle April 22, 2003. Available online at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi? file=/news/archive/2003/04/22/national1737EDT0668.DTL. 
  8. Associated Press interview recorded on April 7, 2003 (available online at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/04/22/national1737EDT0668.DTL) posted online April 22, 2003, accessed August 12, 2004.
  9. Satcher D. "The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior." 2001. Available online at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/sexualhealth/call.pdf.
  10. American Public Health Association. The Need For Public Health Research On Gender Identity And Sexual Orientation. Policy Number 9819. Available online at http://www.apha.org/legislative/policy/policysearch/index.cfm?fuseaction=view&id=171.
  11. American Public Health Association. The Need for Acknowledging Transgendered Individuals within Research and Clinical Practice. Policy Number 9933. Available online at http://www.apha.org/legislative/policy/policysearch/index.cfm?fuseaction=view&id=204.
  12. American Medical Association. Position Statement on Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity. 2002. Available online at http://www.ama.com.au/web.nsf/doc/WEEN-5GA2YX.
  13. American Academy of Pediatrics, Position Statement on Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics 108(2):498-502. Available online at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;108/2/498?fulltext=gay&searchid= QID_NOT_SET.
  14. Traditional Values Coalition, HHS Secretary Respond To Waxman Letter on NIH Funding for AIDS Research. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Oct. 30, 2003. Available online at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?hint= 2&DR_ID=20606.
  15. Lafferty A. "TVC Response Letter to Congressman Waxman on NIH Grants." Traditional Values Coalition. October 29, 2003. Available online at http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?name= News&file=article&sid=1266 
  16. 16. Conservative group pushes NIH to question researchers on sex. USA Today October 28, 2003. Available online at http://www.usatoday. com/news/health/2003-10-28-nih-sex_x.htm.

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