Commentary & Opinion
AIDS Prevention Advocates Should Join Forces, Focus on HIV as Enemy, Opinion Piece Says
May 11, 2006
Discussions that focus on the effectiveness of sex education and condom use promotion in youth-aimed programs -- such as loveLife, South Africa's national HIV-prevention program for youth -- are focusing "on the wrong issues," Thomas Coates, director of the University of California-Los Angeles Program on Global Health, writes in an opinion piece in South Africa's Star. Advocates instead should "readily adopt" positions that promote both condom use and abstinence and encourage "social norms advocating partner reduction and faithfulness," Coates writes. "Women and men need to learn new roles," Coates writes, adding, "Women must learn that they can have power, and men [must learn] that being a man means taking care of others." In addition, advocates in education, religion and health care need to spread a "message of hope" to young people that is "nonjudgemental, accepting and nonstigmatizing," Coates says. "Much of the discussion has focused on whether or not this or that programme is effective," he writes, concluding, "Perhaps it is time to realize that HIV is the enemy, and that we need to join forces to figure out how to accomplish the agenda we have laid out" (Coates, Star, 5/8).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.