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NIH Spends $178,000 to Study Why Prostitutes Have a High HIV Risk 7

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'll-give-you-three-guesses dept.
The NIH plans to spend $178,000 to unlock the mystery of why drug-using prostitutes in Thailand are more likely to be infected with HIV. The study, "Substance Use and HIV Risk among Thai Women," will have researchers interview 60 sex workers to understand the factors that make the prostitutes prone to HIV infection. Watchdogs groups are calling the study a huge waste of American taxpayers' money. "This really is a complete waste of money and should not be funded by the taxpayer," said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. Other NIH studies that have come under scrutiny include investigations on why the obese are underrepresented in long distance running competitions and why the blind make extraordinarily poor search and rescue pilots.

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NIH Spends $178,000 to Study Why Prostitutes Have a High HIV Risk

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  • Is it a study to determine why they have a higher rate than drug using prostitutes in other countries? If so, then its a perfectly valid scientific inquiry.
    • by rilian4 (591569)
      a perfectly valid scientific inquiry in no way mandates that government must fund it. This is still a colossal waste of money. There was another story similar about studying Chinese prostitutes in China on a federal grant..this time in the millions of dollars.
      • a perfectly valid scientific inquiry in no way mandates that government must fund it. This is still a colossal waste of money. There was another story similar about studying Chinese prostitutes in China on a federal grant..this time in the millions of dollars.

        I dunno, it has a potentially large benefit. What if we found out what causes the extra infections, and use that information to help prevention here and around the globe? The US isn't in a bubble, and things like HIV in eastern Asia have a significant impact on HIV spread in the US. Considering how costly it is to treat even 10 people for AIDS for a lifetime, $178,000 (or whatever it was) is a steal if we can prevent a few cases of it.

  • Shouldn't someone be asking if this is just a ploy by someone in the NIH to cover their Thai prostitute habit???? I am curious what kind of "interview" the researcher will be doing??? This study just seems a little fishy on a few different levels.....
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      I see a few likely reasons for this.

      1) Someone wanted to go to Thailand and sample the wares on the gov't dime.

      2) A (or several) politicians frequent there on the gov't dime already, and want to figure out which girls are safest, so their wives won't find out when they test positive later on. "Sorry honey, I don't know where I got HIV from" usually doesn't cut it.

      3) ... well, I don't have a 3rd. :)

      4) ...

      (and the obligatory)

  • Google News shows several variants of this headline, all of which come from Fox and Fox affiliates. Here's the real scoop: http://mediamatters.org/research/200905130010 [mediamatters.org]

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