The government of the United States is over $17 trillion in debt. The debt increases an average of $2.59 billion per day. With the economic crisis reaching such historic levels, one would imagine that the federal government would be rushing to impose financial barriers on the spending, enacting austerity measures with haste, lest the country run headlong into financial ruin.
Despite the rapid approach of the cliff, Washington continues pushing the pedal to the metal, awarding a grant worth over $3 million to keep Mexican prostitutes safe from disease.
A project of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), university researches are paid to study the HIV risks among Mexican sex workers and their “non-commercial partners,” that is to say, sexual partners who are not also clients.
For five years, the American taxpayer will pay professors at the University of California at San Diego to study the sexual habits of these prostitutes and how their behavior contributes to the spread of HIV, particularly among those men that don’t pay for their services.
Since 2009, this study has received grants of more than $500,000 a year, and the money will continue to flow through 2014, the last year of the study.
According to information provided on the project’s data sheet at the NIH, “The overall goal of this study is to study the context and epidemiology of HIV, STIs [sexually transmitted infections] and associated risk behaviors among high risk female sex workers (FSWs) and their non-commercial male partners in two Mexico-US border cities. Preliminary data collected by our binational team over the past 5 years suggest that FSWs' non-commercial partners may be significant drivers of HIV/STI acquisition and/or their re-infection, which is supported by literature in other countries.”
The NIH lists four goals of the study:
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