Condom Promotion Important Part of Responsible HIV/AIDS Prevention Models in Africa, Letter to Editor Says
"It is both reasonable and necessary to challenge those who promote positions and policies that lead to greater suffering and death from AIDS," Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling writes in a Seattle Times letter to the editor in response to a June 17 Times opinion piece (Kissling, Seattle Times, 6/22). Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, in a Times opinion piece said condom promotion has been ineffective in Africa but promoting abstinence and fidelity has shown promising results on the continent, especially in Uganda (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/20). However, a 2002 study by U.S. and Ugandan researchers showed that the greatest factor in reducing Uganda's HIV prevalence was premature death among HIV-positive people, and the second-most-important factor was condom use, according to Kissling. "It is a shame Lopez has chosen to trivialize the efforts of those working to stem the spread of AIDS in Africa" by showing "a willful disregard of epidemiological studies and a lack of understanding of the complexity of HIV/AIDS prevention work," Kissling says. "Responsible prevention models" in the fight against HIV/AIDS should include "compatible messages and evidence-based strategies that integrate the A, B and C approach (Abstain; Be faithful; use Condoms)," Kissling writes (Seattle Times, 6/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.