Darrell Issa is a dick

So this is rather frustrating. In a SBM post, David Gorski points out that Darrell Issa, R-CA, introduced this amendment to the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.

Here’s a quick summary of the studies provided on Kos and SBM:

Substance Abuse Use and HIV Risk Among Thai Women (1R21 DA026324): The proposed collaboration study between Ms. Usaneya Perngparn, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Dr. Nemoto, Public Health Institute, California, will investigate the sociocultural contexts of HIV risk behaviors and drug use among Thai female and male-to-female transgender (kathoey) sex workers in Bangkok. Research is currently needed to develop and adapt HIV prevention models that take into account sociocultural factors so that the further transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections can be averted. Participation in these types of studies also can provide a way for persons suffering from the health consequences of illicit sexual activity to receive treatment while contributing to our knowledge of prevention and treatment outcomes in these populations.

HIV Prevention for Hospitalized Russian Alcoholics (5R01 AA016059): nvestigators are adapting a prevention approach that has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing high-risk HIV related behaviors in the U.S. for use in Russia, a country with a rapidly expanding incidence of HIV.C2 The approach, called Health Relationships Intervention, involves the development of a plan of action for each client to increase social support and reduce high-risk behaviors. This includes the disclosure of information to family and friends on the client’s health, social needs and condition thereby assisting the client in maintaining low risk behaviors.

Venue-based HIV and Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Among Female Sex Workers in China (1R01 AA018090): Research has provided evidence linking alcohol-related, high risk sexual behavior with HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections. Research has also provided rich descriptions of social, cultural, and economic contexts in which people engage in alcohol-related sexual risk behaviors. More specifically, alcohol use characteristics (e.g., binge drinking) have been linked with sexual risk-taking that occurs in a range of high risk environments. The investigators have proposed a 5-year study to develop, implement, and evaluate a theory-guided, multiple components, and venue-based HIV and alcohol use risk reduction intervention among commercial sex workers (FSWs) in China.

Now, you can read on either one of those blogs about the implications that this has for the scientific community — and they are dire. If one can legislate away funding for individual studies that quickly, there’s no stopping a fundamentalist.

What instantly struck me was the 1st study – read the summary again. “Research is currently needed to develop and adapt HIV prevention models that take into account sociocultural factors so that the further transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections can be averted.

I don’t need to remind anyone that HIV is a global pandemic and public health crisis. An illness affecting one country (especially one that in the business world is so…intimate with the US) will spread to another — air travel will see to that. It’s just a matter of how quickly it spreads.

We can’t ignore the tranny factor here too. The number of transgendered people in the US is growing, as this USA Today article illustrates. Documenting what is involved in the spread of HIV in this growing population is important. This study can contribute one piece of the data set – the prevalence of HIV transmission, risk behaviors and drug use in transexuals are starting points on which to build prevention programs and put measures in place to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the HIV.


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