Earlier this week, the vice presidential candidates faced off in a debate. Most of the topics brought up were about foreign policy. One important subject that didn’t come up was public health issues.
As Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence ignored, and didn’t help with a statewide public health emergency. In 2011, the state saw a major cut in public health funding, and Pence was moralistically opposed to needle exchanges.
Gov. Pence had cut funding to Planned Parenthood in Scott County, the only HIV testing center in the county, where injection-drug use is also very common.
In 2015, there was a spike in HIV cases.
For a little while, there were 20 new cases per week. By the time the state got it under control, there were over 200 new HIV cases.
It took Gov. Pence three months to give in and allow needle exchanges. He was against it because he thinks they promote drug use.
Robert Childs, executive director of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, said:
“People think that if you give someone a syringe, it means they’re going to go out and inject drugs, and if don’t give them syringes, they won’t inject drugs.”
If people really want to do the drugs, they will find a way to do it and not giving them syringes will not stop them from finding a way. Providing safe needles can greatly help prevent HIV and other blood-borne diseases. Some of the needle exchanges also provide sterile water, condoms, and other things to help keep these drug users safe.
The needle exchanges in Indiana have really helped cut down the new cases of HIV, no thanks to the governor. Do we want a man who is this irresponsible with public health dollars to touch the federal budgets? I don’t think so.
Mike Pence also doesn’t like condoms, either. He actually said they’re too “modern.” He told a very common Republican lie that claims that condoms don’t work. This idiot actually said:
“The problem is it was too modern of an answer, Wolf. It was — it truly was a modern, liberal answer to a problem that parents like me are facing all over America, and frankly, all over the world.”
Gov. Pence, like most Republicans, prefer to teach abstinence as a “method” instead of condoms. We learned from the Dubyah years that all abstinence does is… Well, less than nothing to help curb Sexually transmitted diseases, let alone HIV.
Abstinence has an almost 100 percent fail rate. Almost no one actually abstains. Condoms actually work with a 1.2 percent fail rate when used properly.
Here is a news clip about the HIV outbreak:
Featured image via YouTube screenshot.o