Abstinence Getting Results in AIDS Battle

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Sunday, December 15, 2002

Abstinence Getting Results in AIDS Battle

Guess who -- and what-- is winning the war against HIV/AIDS in at least one part of virus-ravaged Africa. The answer is Uganda, abstinence and marital fidelity.

As Rich Lowry of National Review writes, according to a study completed in one particular Ugandan district, almost 60 percent of youths aged 13-16 reported engaging in sexual activity in 1994. But by last year, the number had dropped to less than five percent.

The U.S. Agency for International Development reports that Ugandan males are now "less likely" to have ever had sex (in the 15-19 year old range), more likely to be married and keep sex within marriage, and less likely to have multiple partners. Is anyone surprised, therefore, to learn that the epidemic is slowing in these areas?

World AIDS Day passed on December 1st without any notice of Uganda’s progress against the disease. The country’s president embarked on a crusade against having sex outside of marriage and it has worked. But much of the world wants to pursue the fiction that condoms are the answer.

There is a lot of money and political power at stake and the sex merchants who make a lot of it don’t want people getting the message that Ugandans are getting.

That’s too bad, because it puts many more people at risk.

I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.

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