23-August-2007 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Africans Demand Countries Follow Ugandan Model of Abstinence to Stop AIDS

Washington DC, Aug 23, 2007 (CNA).- The website AllAfrica.com has published an opinion piece by an African expert who is calling on leaders to follow the successful model of Uganda in the effort to stop AIDS, placing emphasis on abstinence and conjugal fidelity instead of the use of condoms.

The article entitled, “Uganda: ABC Aids Strategy is the Way to Go,” warns that by the year 2010, 100 million people will be HIV-positive, with most of them living in Africa and Asia.

According to the author, Uganda's success story of reducing HIV prevalence from 30% to 6% “will soon be a gone case.” “Uganda's point was clear: AIDS kills, abstain from sex before marriage and be faithful in marriage. Hope was restored and Uganda became a universal focal point on the AIDS issue,” the expert said.

The author pointed out, however, that the “consequences of Uganda's approach were not business friendly because condom-makers would lose sales. Secondly, some organizations earn their daily bread from HIV/AIDS. These [organizations] advocate the change of the prevention strategy to anything other than ABC.”

In response to those who view abstinence as a “primitive and religious act,” the expert notes that what is at stake is a person’s life, and he said that entities like UNAIDS do not appreciate the Ugandan model or invest in promoting abstinence.

He said the Uganda Aids Commission has bowed to pressure from donors and has begun distributing condoms. This has caused some of the achievements in Uganda’s fight against AIDS to be lost, he noted, calling on Ugandans to remember that money is not worth risking one’s life.

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