Earlier this month, my mother wrote a column about Uganda’s inclusion of abstinence in their AIDS prevention program. I made a mental bookmark, but decided to return when I saw the latest from Rafe which appeared to disparage all abstinence programs.
Uganda has recently experienced dramatic declines in HIV prevalence. Analysis of HIV prevalence and behavioral data from Uganda suggest that reductions in casual sex as well as delay of sexual debut among youth (and periodic abstinence among older Ugandans) may have been the significant determinants of decline in HIV prevalence. Similar evidence can be found in Zambia and Senegal.
as well as this AllAfrica.com story on Uganda:
Prof. Edward Green of the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies in the US, says large numbers of Ugandans must have heeded to President Yoweri Museveni’s earlier warning that ‘you either abstain, be faithful or die.’
The article concludes that there is no single magic bullet, but using abstinence as a part of an overall program seems to be more effective than not mentioning it at all.
Now, I’m not that fond of the Bush administration either, but it looks like Rafe isn’t considering all the evidence.