From Fox News
NIH Spends $178,000 to Study Why Prostitutes in Thailand Have High HIV Risk
The federal government is spending $178,000 to better understand why drug-abusing prostitutes in Thailand are at greater risk for HIV infection, an endeavor taxpayer watchdogs are calling a huge waste of American taxpayers’ money.
The National Institutes of Health study, “Substance Use and HIV Risk among Thai Women,” is looking at the interplay of personal and cultural factors that put Thai prostitutes at special risk.
But women aren’t its only target. The two-year project, made possible by a grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, is also studying kathoey, the transgender prostitutes who are widely accepted in Thailand because of the “karmic idea in Buddhism,” and who have especially high HIV infection rates, according to the study’s abstract.
Researchers plan to interview 60 sex workers — 36 women and 24 kathoey — to understand the factors that make the prostitutes susceptible to HIV, including economic pressure, sex-change operations, their heavy use of drugs and a Buddhist fatalism that keeps them feeling resigned to their fate.
Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) predicted Wednesday that despite his current popularity in the polls, President Barack Obama will eventually suffer the same reversal of political fortune that befell President Bill Clinton in 1994.
“What they have in common is that everything for them is political. They wage a perpetual campaign. They are both extraordinary politicians. Either one of them could charm the skin off a snake,” Barbour told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.
Barbour, who was handily reelected to a second term in 2007, served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993 to 1997. Barbour linked Clinton’s unpopular efforts to raise taxes and to reform health policy in 1993 to the GOP’s capture of both the Senate and House in 1994 for the first time in 40 years.
The difference, Barbour suggested, is that Clinton , in time, made his peace with the Ronald Reagan revolution, informing Congress that the era of big government is over.
Read more: “Haley Barbour: Obama a snake charmer – Andrew Glass – POLITICO.com”