Blog » AIDS and abstinence in Uganda

24 Feb 2005

AIDS and abstinence in Uganda

Filed under: Africa — paulcook @ 10:54 pm

One of the most controversial issues in AIDS prevention education is whether to promote abstinence or condom use more strongly. The abstinence side of the argument has received a lot of support from the Bush administration, as well as some religious NGO’s, while many other NGO’s and donor countries have taken a more neutral or pro-condom approach.

One of the purported successes of the absitence model is Uganda, where HIV prevalence has been decreasing in recent years, due to a slowing rate of new infection compared to the death rate of those currently infected. The Ugandan government has emphasised the abstinence part of the ABC of the “Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condomise” approach that most countries use, which no doubt helped the Ugandan president get along as well as he did with Bush, during a visit to the US last year.

Now, however, a recent study from Columbia University, reported on in IOL: Africa, suggests that in a long-term study of 10 000 adults, only the condom message has actually resulted in dropping infection rates.

Another argument, in my opinion, of spreading funding around to as many different approaches one can find that could plausibly help. And, of course, a challenge to funders wishing to attach personal moral agendas to aid meant to solve a different problem …

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  1. I wrote a paper when I was a sophomore in college about this. Some of the countries have a slowing trend of infection rate because most of the people in the age bracket of being infected are infected with HIV/AIDS already. Hopefully, education is helping. I don’t really believe in abstience. Human nature is just not programmed for that… hehe

    Comment by UALboy — 25 Feb 2005 @ 12:30 am

  2. Yes, and it’s particularly sobering to think that if the overall prevalence is decreasing, there are still people getting infected, but it’s just that people are dying faster. Pretty crazy…

    What course were you doing that had you write that paper?

    Comment by paulcook — 25 Feb 2005 @ 6:58 pm

  3. I think it’s a good approach to use abstinence in addition to condoms. There is something lost in relationships that eschew gifts of trust, and rather base it on people searching for “personality” sycophants.

    Comment by eye — 27 Dec 2005 @ 11:19 am

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