HeroesOfHIV - For Teachers

Policy and Prostitution


The United States sent $6.4 million last year to the Dominican Republic last year under the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, but with the following stipulation, which critics say keeps help from reaching those at the greatest risk and with the greatest need:

Prohibition on the promotion or advocacy of the legalization or practice of prostitution or sex trafficking (assistance) (June 2005)

a) “The U.S. Government is opposed to prostitution and related activities, which are inherently harmful and dehumanizing, and contribute to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. None of the funds made available under this agreement may be used to promote or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution and sex trafficking. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed to preclude the provision to individuals of palliative care, treatment, or post-exposure pharmaceutical prophylaxis, and necessary pharmaceuticals and commodities, including test kits, condoms, and when proven effective, microbicides.”

b) “Except as noted in the second sentence of this paragraph, as a condition of entering into this agreement or any subagreement, a non-governmental organization or public international organization recipient/subrecipient must have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.”

Source: USAID


January 2003: President Bush announces plans for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion initiative.

May 2003: Congress passes legislation authorizing PEPFAR.

February 2004: The United States Agency for International Development — USAID — publishes a policy directive requiring foreign nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. global AIDS funding to pledge their opposition to prostitution and sex trafficking.

June 2005: USAID expands its policy directive requiring a loyalty oath regarding prostitution to include all foreign and U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations.
U.S. funding is denied to DKT International, Washington-based nonprofit managing contraceptive social marketing programs for family planning and AIDS prevention when the group refuses to agree to the oath.

July 2005: DKT International files suit challenging the U.S. loyalty oath on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional infringement of speech and that it undermines U.S. international efforts to stem the epidemic.

January 2006: Former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Randall L. Tobias is named administrator of USAID.

May 2006: U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan finds the “anti-prostitution pledge” unconstitutional.

February 2007: U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph reverses the lower court ruling, saying the pledge is consistent with the government’s objective of eradicating HIV/AIDS.

April 2007: Tobias resigns after his name turns up on phone records of a woman charged with running a prostitution ring.

Sources: The Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — PEPFAR — annual reports, the Kaiser Family Foundation, PEPFAR WATCH, a project of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, and The Global Gag Rule Impact Project, news reports