Thursday, 28 July 2011

NIH Spends Millions to Study AIDS in China, Chinese Prostitutes

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The Traditional Values Coalition has released the second installment of its investigation into grant-making by the National Institutes of Health. This time, TVC reveals that U.S. taxpayers pumped $90 million into “research” that included investigating AIDS in China, Chinese prostitutes, and a treatable parasite that infects one in every 1,000 Chinese.

A week ago, TVC exposed grantees who used NIH money to study whether the physical endowment of homosexuals affected their sexual satisfaction.

Now taxpayers get this news, as Congress and the President grapple about raising the debt ceiling and a few relatively small cuts in the federal budget that won’t come close to nicking the surface of the nation’s $14.5 trillion debt.

Sex Work Again

According to TVC, NIH spent nearly $20 million to study AIDS among Chinese sporting women: 

From 2003 to 2008, the National Institutes of Health on behalf of the American taxpayer awarded a Chinese researcher at the Chinese Center of Disease Control — not to be confused with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta — a whopping $17,542,162.

The only published result of this research is a study of 420 prostitutes and 241 of their clients, in the Yunnan province of China. [That's about $26,538 to interview each person.] Some of the prostitutes were only 14 years old.

The Yunnan province is one of the most highly sex-trafficked regions in China.

The conclusions of this study were published in an article entitled "Microbicide Acceptability and Associated Factors Among Female Sex Workers and Male Clients in Kaiyuan County, Yunnan Province, China" in the February 2010 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).

Other shocking details include the revelation that taxpayers spent $2 million “to develop a vaccine against parasites that affect water buffalo, snails and about 1 million Chinese citizens.” That disease is called Schistosomiasis, which, as TVC notes, is treated with drugs.

As well, the NIH spent the following tax money:

• $189,072 to train a Chinese researcher in acupuncture/MRI technology at an American university, who then conducted acupuncture sessions for 30 Chinese volunteers.

• More than $3.5 million toward teaching and credentialing Chinese scientists to increase the capacities of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control (CCDC).

• $367,686 spent focusing on the lives of female prostitutes in southwestern China, studying whether “women become FSWs (female sex workers) in order to pay for their drugs, or do they become drug users after they become FSWs?”

Vietnam Reprised

This isn’t the first time the National Institutes of Health has studied Asiatic prostitution. Last year, revealed that the NIH spent $1.44 million on studying the “social milieu” of Vietnamese prostitutes.

According to the NIH abstract, “In Study 1, formative ethnography will be used to describe the settings, venues, and overall social milieu in which male sex work is being situated. In Study 2, we will conduct a Capture-Recapture Survey to estimate the size of the male sex worker population in each city.”

But even more important to the NIH was the problem with homosexual prostitution, the abstract said.

This study seeks to address an important public health question: what is the impact of male sex work on the growing HIV epidemics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? HIV rates in Vietnam are rapidly increasing, and yet there are limited data on the role that different populations play in this increase. Existing data are based on the assumption that HIV is found primarily in injection drug users and female sex workers, with only recent attention being paid to men who have sex with men.

The money for these studies, reported, runs through 2012.

America Does Not Have the Money for This

The Traditional Values Coalition promises to deliver even more revelations. Says TVC president Andrew Lafferty

As our country heads to fiscal ruin, why are we giving millions in taxpayer dollars to Chinese science — which benefits China and its institutions — when they hold more than $1 trillion in American debt?

It is simply unacceptable for the NIH to pay Chinese researchers to study acupuncture, or fund international research, when we are struggling to pay our own debts. That China, our biggest creditor, is the recipient makes this waste all the more incredible.

Underscoring the TVC’s point, BigGovernment.Com has revealed that the National Science Foundation has given almost $30 million to two organizations that funded a study of the “double entendre” in the joke, “That’s what she said.”

The website’s Joel Griffith noted that, amazingly, the one recipient's rationale for the project was that researchers with doctorates might have to work in the private sector if grant money doesn’t flow from the government.

Said one of the abstracts:

This project will forestall a permanent loss of research talent likely to occur if new PhDs are forced to seek employment outside of the field due to the sharp cuts brought about by the recent budget crisis.... As a nation, we have invested time, energy, and funding in the training of these PhDs. Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to realize a payoff for that investment.

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