Pennsylvania State Health Department Removes Religious-Themed AIDS Pamphlet From Web Site
The Pennsylvania Department of Health last week removed from its Web site a religious-themed AIDS pamphlet, titled "A Christian Response to AIDS," that was included in a list of educational brochures, the Associated Press reports. The agency commenced a review of the appropriateness of the pamphlet after Capitolwire, an online state government news service, last week questioned its presence on a state Web site. Health department spokesperson Richard McGarvey said that "for a public Web site, it was decided it wasn't appropriate." The department initially purchased 10,000 brochures in 2002 and distributed them to churches as part of an effort to educate the black community about HIV/AIDS, according to McGarvey, the Associated Press reports. To date, the agency has distributed 6,000 of the pamphlets, and the remaining 4,000 will be distributed to "anyone who wants them," according to the Associated Press. The department does not plan to reorder the brochures after the remaining 4,000 have been distributed (Associated Press, 3/13). Two years ago, Washington, D.C., health officials were criticized for offering the same brochure. District health officials said that an error had been made in ordering the pamphlet, and they stopped distributing it (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/28/2001).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.