In the 19 months since the porkulus bill was passed there have been revelations of projects that seem just stupid, like the study of monkeys using cocaine for which Wake Forest University was granted money, or the $4.8 million to buy“frozen, sliced ham” at twice the cost. There were projects that seemed to be on the crappy side such as $487,944 for “toilet buildings and vaults” in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and $254,000 for “pre-fabricated restroom facilities” in Atlanta, Ga. But this latest porkulus revelation takes the cake. The US Government awarded $823 thousand dollars for a program that will teach men in Africa to wash their “manhood.”
This is not a joke. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.
The genitalia-washing program is part of a larger $12-million UCLA study examining how to better encourage Africans to undergo voluntary HIV testing and counseling – however, only the penis-washing study received money from the 2009 economic stimulus law. The washing portion of the study is set to end in 2011.
“NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications,” the grant abstract states. “We propose to evaluate the feasibility of a post-coital genital hygiene study among men unwilling to be circumcised in Orange Farm, South Africa.”
The reason for the “washing classes” is that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection, but researchers have been unsuccessful in convincing most adult African men to undergo circumcision. Personally I can understand, my circumcision happened when I was eight days old and couldn’t walk for more than a year after my circumcision. The UCLA program is designed to determine whether researchers can develop an after-sex genitalia-washing they can teach uncircumcised African men to follow.
“The aim of the proposed feasibility study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a post-coital male genital hygiene procedure, which participants will be asked to practice immediately post-coitus or at least 12 hours after,” reads the abstract.
Entitled “Community-Based HIV VCT: South Africa,” the name of the broader umbrella project, the program plans to test how well received the penis-washing regimen is among South African men.
If most of the men in the study wash their genitals after sex, are willing to do so after the study ends, and report that their partners accept the regimen, the researchers will develop another study to see if the “penile cleansing procedure” actually works to prevent HIV infections.
“If we find that men are able to practice consistent washing practices after sex, we will plan to test whether this might protect men from becoming HIV infected in a later study,” the grant says.
Our federal debt is at record levels, partially because of porkulus bill passed in 2009. We were under the impression that the money was to be spent on “shovel-ready” projects to help our decaying infrastructure. Unfortunately, the only thing being “shoveled” was the “bull” purveyed by the progressives about this porkulus bill. “Penis cleaning” your tax dollars at work.