Abstinence, Fidelity Should Be Emphasized in African HIV Prevention Programs, Opinion Piece Says
"Throwing condoms at the problem" of HIV/AIDS "has simply not worked in Africa," but the promotion of abstinence and fidelity --"where it has been tried, most notably in Uganda -- seems to give people a fighting chance" against the virus, Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes in a Seattle Times opinion piece. In the late 1980s, Uganda adopted the "ABC" HIV prevention model -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- and reduced its HIV prevalence from about 15% to about 5% between 1991 and 2001, according to Lopez. In addition, "numbers show the donor-favored condom approach [to prevention] isn't ending the scourge of AIDS but is perpetuating a host of other, associated problems" on the continent, Lopez writes. "People deserve to know they have alternatives in life to risky sex," she says, adding, "Teach a man to respect himself and the women around him, and you might just be on your way to putting a dent into a pandemic." Feminists who are "normally averse to the word 'abstinence'" should "hold their noses and give it some consideration," Lopez writes, adding, "They could lead a revolution and save a continent" (Lopez, Seattle Times, 6/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.