AIDS Prevention Advocates Should Join Forces, Focus on HIV as Enemy, Opinion Piece Says
Discussions that focus on the effectiveness of sex education and condom use promotion in youth-aimed programs are focusing "on the wrong issues," Thomas Coates, director of the University of California-Los Angeles Program on Global Health, writes in an opinion piece in South Africa's Star. Advocates instead should "readily adopt" positions that promote both condom use and abstinence and encourage "social norms advocating partner reduction and faithfulness," Coates writes. "Women and men need to learn new roles," Coates writes, adding, "Women must learn that they can have power, and men [must learn] that being a man means taking care of others." In addition, advocates in education, religion and health care need to spread a "message of hope" to young people that is "nonjudgemental, accepting and nonstigmatizing," Coates says. "Much of the discussion has focused on whether or not this or that programme is effective," he writes, concluding, "Perhaps it is time to realize that HIV is the enemy, and that we need to join forces to figure out how to accomplish the agenda we have laid out" (Coates, Star, 5/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.