AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin Drops Objections to Abstinence-Only Education, Wins Federal Grant to Develop Abstinence Program
The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, which has long opposed abstinence-only programs as a way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, has now opted to "embrace" the approach, the Washington Times reports. Last October, ARCW won a $91,690 federal grant to develop an abstinence-only program aimed at teenagers. The organization had previously said it did not use abstinence-only programs, but in its grant application, ARCW said the "safer-sex method is far from 100% effective" and called an abstinence-only HIV/AIDS prevention format "ideal for many youth venues, especially faith-based, community-based or sport-related youth organizations," the Times reports. The federal grant will fund only the development of the program and not its actual implementation. As a result, ARCW will "continue to pursue funding from other sources," Mike Gifford, ARCW's deputy executive director, said.
Other HIV/AIDS Groups Remain Opposed to Abstinence-Based Prevention Programs
While the ARCW has shown a "new acceptance" of abstinence-based programs, many other AIDS groups "are as critical of abstinence-only education as ever," the Times reports. Dorothy Mann, a board member of the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families, said that although teaching abstinence until marriage is a "noble ideal," the federal government should provide funding to programs that include information on contraceptives. "[M]ost people aren't marrying at 21 anymore. Should we expect 30-year-old single people to abstain?" she asked (Wetzstein, Washington Times, 7/17).