Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., the head of the country’s top public health agency and someone who once worked with a Christian group that claimed AIDS was God’s way of punishing gay people, appears to have had a change of heart regarding his stance on condoms and needle exchange programs to prevent the spreading of STDs.
He used to say those things were ineffective, but that’s no longer the case.
“I think the data is just clear that these strategies work. When you see evidence that these strategies work, you need to embrace them,” said Redfield, director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“One thing I can commit to is CDC is not an opinion organization. It’s a science-based, data-driven organization,” he said.
It’s a huge step forward for a guy whose said something very different a few decades ago:
In a 1987 booklet on AIDS aimed at young people, Redfield and his co-author offered no advice on condoms or other preventive measures, preaching that the best way to avoid AIDS was to avoid sex until marriage. They wrote, in all caps: “DON’T ENGAGE IN INTIMATE CONTACT AT ALL. IF YOU HAVE HAD THAT KIND OF CONTACT IN THE PAST, STOP NOW.”
At the same time, you kind of have to wonder what took him so damn long. The proof that condoms work is not exactly new information. You have to appreciate the turnaround — especially coming from this administration — but Redfield shouldn’t get too many brownie points for finally realizing what everyone else has known for decades.
He also hasn’t apologized for spreading misinformation in the past or working with groups that treat homosexuality as a sin.
Baby steps, I suppose.
(Thanks to Scott for the link)