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Feds Spent $800,000 of Economic Stimulus on African Genital-Washing Program

Feds Spent $800,000 of Economic Stimulus on African Genital-Washing Program
Monday, September 13, 2010
By Matt Cover


The AIDS awareness symbol is used for earrings and pendants made at a counseling center in Chennai, India. (AP File Photo/M. Lakshman)

(CNSNews.com) – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.

The genitalia-washing program is part of a larger $12-million UCLA study examining how to better encourage Africans to undergo voluntary HIV testing and counseling – however, only the penis-washing study received money from the 2009 economic stimulus law. The washing portion of the study is set to end in 2011.

“NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications,” the grant abstract states. “We propose to evaluate the feasibility of a post-coital genital hygiene study among men unwilling to be circumcised in Orange Farm, South Africa.”

Because AIDS researchers have been unsuccessful in convincing most adult African men to undergo circumcision, the UCLA study proposes to determine whether researchers can develop an after-sex genitalia-washing regimen that they can then convince uncircumcised African men to follow.

“The aim of the proposed feasibility study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a post-coital male genital hygiene procedure, which participants will be asked to practice immediately post-coitus or at least 12 hours after,” reads the abstract.

Entitled “Community-Based HIV VCT: South Africa,” the name of the broader umbrella project, the program plans to test how well received the penis-washing regimen is among South African men.

If most of the men in the study wash their genitals after sex, are willing to do so after the study ends, and report that their partners accept the regimen, the researchers will develop another study to see if the “penile cleansing procedure” actually works to prevent HIV infections.

“If we find that men are able to practice consistent washing practices after sex, we will plan to test whether this might protect men from becoming HIV infected in a later study,” the grant says.

The study’s lead investigator Dr. Thomas J. Coates was the fourth highest-funded researcher in the country in 2002 and is currently conducting HIV research on three continents.

CNSNews.com asked both Coates and NIMH the following question: “The Census Bureau says the median household income in the United States is $52,000. How would you explain to the average American mom and dad -- who make $52,000 per year -- that taxing them to pay for this grant was justified?”

Coates, who was unavailable for comment, directed CNSNews.com to ask grant-related questions of his assistant, Darya Freedman, who did not respond.

The NIMH also declined to respond to CNSNews.com’s question.
7 Responses
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1301089 tn?1290666571
Thank you Mr. Obama.  Another wonderful use of US tax payer stimulus funds.  I mistakenly thought that the stimulus was a jobs producing program.  Not only has it not produced jobs, now we get to pay for this????
Helpful - 0
1032715 tn?1315984234
Shouldn't stimulus funds be going to infrastructure in your own country?
We are fixing roads and upgrading schools,building bridges,upgrading government buildings,upgrading water pipes,this has kept our unemployment at 5.1% and the Aust: dollar has reached 93 cents to the US dollar,It also helped us avert a recession in this country.
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1301089 tn?1290666571
Exactly.  This so called stimulus was nothing more than a fiasco political payback.  We've been robbed!!!
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Avatar universal
And to think that you can get your genitals washed on the Las Vegas Strip for $5.00.....
Helpful - 0
377493 tn?1356502149
ROFL,,,now that is funny!!!  Thanks for the giggle, it's been a long day!!
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1032715 tn?1315984234
It's so good to laugh,
Brice -- can you really get your genitals washed on the Las Vegas strip for $5.00,And how do you know this?  LOL
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
LOL, Brice your funny! In all fairness, I have not researched this article for fact, but thought it so hilarious I just had to post it. No idea if it is true or not, didnt want to take the time to find out. Someone else can search for fact for a change.
Helpful - 0
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