Friday, June 02, 2006

Abstinence-only education hampering AIDS fight

Via The Independent

Abstinence is working for Isaac and Simon - and for tens of thousands of teens and twentysomethings proudly attending virginity rallies in Uganda. But Aids activists and development officials point to the 130,000 Ugandans infected with HIV last year alone - up from 70,000 in 2002 - and say the recent obsession with abstinence is handicapping the country's once-successful fight against the virus.

Health workers see the fingerprints of America's Christian right all over the chastity message and believe the Bush administration is using its financial might to bully them into accepting evangelical ideology at the expense of public health.
Bottom line

People on both sides of the argument agree that Washington is prolonging tens of thousands of Ugandans' lives through treatment - and that abstinence is crucial. "The evangelicals are absolutely right: abstinence is the best way of preventing the spread of HIV/Aids," says Sigurd Illing, the EU ambassador to Uganda. "But some people aren't receptive. We need an end to this bedevilling of condoms by people who take a high moralistic stance and don't care about the impact that this has on reality."

1 comment:

la'ikoa said...

Abstinence only sex education programs used in the US, and pushed by the Bush administration, have been proven to have no effect on the sexual behavior of adolescents. There was a decrease in risky sexual behavior among teens between '91-'97, when sex education was not limited to abstinence only programs. But from '99-'03, there has been no change in sexual behavior among adolescents.

See the research at Advocates for Youth. (