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Abstinence working in Africa?
Jan 1, 2007

Hey Dr. Bob,

Is the Bush Administration correct when they say their abstinence program is working to prevent AIDS in Uganda? Maybe being prudish is the way to go?

Samantha

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Samantha,

Once again, with Dubya's blessing, we have social conservatism and religious dogma attempting to override scientific fact. I, too, have heard the rhetoric used by the administration, claiming the Uganda HIV/AIDS experience is "proof" that abstinence works! However, a look at the scientific facts reveals that while Uganda did cut HIV infection rates significantly, it did so with a program promoting not just abstinence and fidelity, but also condoms! More recently, due to pressure from the Bush Administration, Uganda has been backing away from promoting condoms for HIV prevention and the disastrous consequence is that HIV prevalence in Uganda is once again rising, a fact not mentioned by the Bush Administration's sex-phobic social conservatives! A real HIV/AIDS prevention success story is Cambodia's: it has cut its HIV-prevalence rate from 3 percent in 1997 to 1.8 percent today by vigorously promoting condoms! The fact of the matter is Bush's prudishness is costing lives! Faith-based rhetoric cannot change scientific facts!

Stay informed. Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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