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Global Health Advocates React To Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down Anti-Prostitution Pledge

“Global health advocates said [the Supreme Court’s decision last week striking down a law requiring groups to take an anti-prostitution pledge as a condition for funding] lifts the stigma surrounding sex workers and their role in the world’s three-decade-long HIV epidemic, and will allow scientists to talk more openly about effective ways to combat the virus,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Population Action International president Suzanne Ehlers said that the … anti-prostitution pledge was a ‘harmful policy’ that had damaged anti-AIDS efforts around the world,” the news agency writes, adding that Ehlers said, “Evidence, not ideology, should drive policy governing public health programs.” Chris Collins, director of public policy at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, said, “I think [the ruling] will have practical impact. … Groups addressing the AIDS epidemic will feel more secure in being open about getting appropriate services to sex workers and that is an absolutely critical thing we need to do,” according to AFP (Sheridan, 6/24).