May 27, 2003 - Peace Corps Press Release: Peace Corps Commits 1,000 Additional Volunteers as part of Global AIDS Relief Package

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 10:55 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Commits 1,000 Additional Volunteers as part of Global AIDS Relief Package

Read and comment on this Peace Corps Press Release that the Peace Corps has committed to an additional 1,000 volunteers to fight HIV/AIDS as part of legislation signed into law today by President Bush at:

Peace Corps Commits 1,000 Additional Volunteers as part of Global AIDS Relief Package*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Peace Corps Commits 1,000 Additional Volunteers as part of Global AIDS Relief Package

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27, 2003 - In addition to over 2,100 Peace Corps volunteers currently working on HIV/AIDS projects, the Peace Corps committed to an additional 1,000 volunteers to fight HIV/AIDS as part of legislation signed into law today by President Bush. The new law, H.R. 1298, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003, will direct $15 billion over the next five years to fight HIV/AIDS abroad, focusing on 14 African and Caribbean countries where HIV/AIDS is heavily concentrated.

President Bush signed the bipartisan legislation into law today during a ceremony at the Department of State and recognized Peace Corps volunteers for their work abroad. The President received multiple standing ovations as he addressed the audience and stated that he viewed fighting HIV/AIDS as a “moral duty.”

“Peace Corps volunteers are making an impact at the local level, and by committing an additional 1,000 volunteers, Peace Corps will be able to enhance a number of programs and expand HIV/AIDS projects in current Peace Corps countries. The expansion includes additional volunteers working in targeted African countries, as well as those in the Caribbean. Also, more educational material, written in local languages, will be developed for volunteers to use in their communities,” stated Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez.

Peace Corps currently has more than 2,100 volunteers working on HIV/AIDS activities. Peace Corps programs in two countries, Botswana and Swaziland, are devoted entirely to the pandemic. In addition, Peace Corps is exploring partnerships with other Federal agencies in order to further expand its efforts as part of the President’s initiative.

The Crisis Corps program, in which former Peace Corps volunteers return to service for a limited period, will also commit volunteers to fight the disease. These volunteers will lend their expertise to non-governmental organizations and government agencies worldwide for assignments of up to six months. The Peace Corps will enhance the capability of volunteers and their communities to obtain and exchange information about the latest innovations in public health education, behavior change, and delivery of services to people living with HIV/AIDS through the use of information communication technology.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; AIDS



By jenrubin on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - 8:49 am: Edit Post

I think this is more than just getting numbers. I would recommend recruiting qualified (at least MPH or MA-holding) volunteers.
About 1 1/2 years ago I interviewed for the peace corps - I had just obtained my MPH, had done a few things overseas but not extensive work, in Africa and other places, in HIV/AIDS, and thought the Peace Corps would be an excellent way to get more overseas public health experience, enhance my skills, and more importanlty make a significant contribution given my background and understanding of the epidemic. I had skills in data management, research/needs assessments, and health systems. I was, however, deemed not "flexible" enough because I did not want to go to a small village to do health education. I thought I could make the most contribution with my existing skills working with an NGO or agency in a capital city or other town. I was no longer an undergraduate (I was 28 at the time) who was seeking some lifetime and life-altering experience. I had had that - I was seeking to make a serious contribution to programs that could be sustainable once I left. I was not accepted, which I thought was a shame for the Peace Corps. To sum up this long message:

I would like to suggest creating a cadre of PCVs who have MPHs who could be placed with MoHs, international or local NGOs/CBOs/FBOs, specifically to support the design, implementation, management and monitoring of care, support and prevention programs - in particular Home-based care services, PMTCT, VCT etc. These volunteers could help build the capacity of locals orgs to manage, monitor and evaluate their own programs, train staff, etc. Health systems management, data processing at the health facility level are also critical to being able to put into place good programs - in particular the President's Initiative programs.

Thank you

Jennifer Rubin
Institute for HIV/AIDS, Care and Treatment
Family Health International

By Harvey Botzman on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 4:40 am: Edit Post

I'm not so certain that a dramatic increase in the number of PC volunteers is a good idea.
Perhaps the Director should think in terms of quality rather than quantity as Ms. Rubin suggests.

An MPH or MA may not be necessary. Who is to say that an RN (with only an AS or Hospital nursing program certificate) would not be able to provide the support functions which Ms. Rubin or the Director is suggesting that are needed.

It is important to remember that the US PC functions to help other nations develop the requisite human and institutional infrastructures to allow the other nation to be come self-sufficient and self-reliant.

The writer is a RPCV, Kenya Ed. III, 1966-69.

By Colin Gallagher on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 3:21 pm: Edit Post

Ah, but wait. There is a problem here. The Prez will soon realize that AIDS volunteers are going to be promoting... CONDOM USE!

"Peace Corps committed to an additional 1,000 volunteers to fight HIV/AIDS as part of legislation signed into law today by President Bush."

Before jumping for joy at the signing of this legislation I would urge ALL readers to look closely at its language. Here is what it states with regard to prevention (from H.R. 1298:

`(1) PREVENTION- Prevention of HIV/AIDS through activities including--

`(A) programs and efforts that are designed or intended to impart knowledge with the exclusive purpose of helping individuals avoid behaviors that place them at risk of HIV infection, including integration of such programs into health programs and the inclusion in counseling programs of information on methods of avoiding infection of HIV, including delaying sexual debut, abstinence, fidelity and monogamy, reduction of casual sexual partnering, reducing sexual violence and coercion, including child marriage, widow inheritance, and polygamy, and where appropriate, use of condoms;"

Wow. I am excited already. Abstinence. Delaying orgasm. And of course, use of condoms -- WHERE APPROPRIATE. I am sure that will work real well. Right George?

Being as "birth control" currently seems to be a nearly prohibited phrase in Washington budgets, there could be problems maintaining a Peace Corps AIDS program... unless, of course, the next Presidential elections turn up someone other than Bush.

Under the current Administration's policy, it is forbidden for any nongovernmental organization that accepts US family planning funding to provide abortions with their own money or lobbying in foreign countries on abortion-related issues. This has been agreed by numerous organizations to be a violation of medical ethics, reproductive health rights and democratic principles. (See

Given, then, the current Administration's position on reproductive issues, what will be the response of U.S. A.I.D., I wonder, when Peace Corps Volunteers in the new AIDS programs begin to request for S.P.A. (Small Project Assistance) monies for CONDOMS?

Of course we don't want to prejudge or assume what the Administration's position will be on such requests to S.P.A. / U.S. A.I.D. by Peace Corps Volunteers. But it's a safe bet that as long as George W. is around, AIDS Volunteers will be struggling to do more than obtain fancy A.I.D. multi-language publications on abstinence.

By victor kana ( - on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 12:11 pm: Edit Post

i would like to work as apeace corp.i am an african from zambia.right now i am in new
name is victor kana.address is 715 adee ave,apt3
bronx,10467,new york.
i would be happy to hear from you because i am
interested too in the work you are doing.

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