Thursday, February 24, 2005

Abstinence and Irony

Quickly, to follow up on the previous post, right below this one (probably a good idea to read it first). Here is an excerpt from the Heritage Foundation report, The White House Initiative to Combat AIDS: Learning from Uganda.
The Bush Administration is basing its AIDS initiative on the success of Uganda, which has experienced the greatest decline in HIV prevalence of any country in the world.2 Studies show that from 1991 to 2001, HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15 percent to 5 percent. Among pregnant women in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, HIV prevalence dropped from a high of approximately 30 percent to 10 percent over the same period.3 How did Uganda do it?

The best evidence suggests that the crucial factor was a national campaign to discourage risky sexual behaviors that contribute to the spread of the disease. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the Ugandan government, working closely with community and faith-based organizations, delivered a consistent AIDS prevention message: Abstain from sex until marriage, Be faithful to your partner, or use Condoms if abstinence and fidelity are not practiced.

The link between Uganda's "ABC" approach and the dramatic reduction in the country's HIV/AIDS rate is now widely acknowledged. Based on research data collected over the past decade, several lessons can be drawn from the success of Uganda's strategy:

  • High-risk sexual behaviors can be discouraged and replaced by healthier lifestyles.
  • Abstinence and marital fidelity appear to be the most important factors in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • Condoms do not play the primary role in reducing HIV/AIDS transmission.
  • Religious organizations are crucial participants in the fight against AIDS.

The White House correctly insists on basing U.S. AIDS policy on these lessons and the best available research about effective prevention and treatment programs ...

Click on the link above to read ... more of the same ...