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Commentary & Opinion

Shift on Condom Use in Uganda "Threatens to Undermine" Country's Success in HIV/AIDS Prevention, Editorial Says

September 6, 2005

Uganda became Africa's leader in reducing the spread of HIV by promoting abstinence, faithfulness and consistent condom use, but now this "balanced approach is tilting, and Ugandans will die as a result," a New York Times editorial says (New York Times, 9/4). The Ugandan and U.S. governments over the past couple of years have placed an increasing interest in promoting abstinence and fidelity in marriage, with condoms being distributed only to people who cannot manage either prevention tactic. U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis and other AIDS advocates last week said the Bush administration's policy of emphasizing abstinence-only prevention programs and cutting federal funding for condoms have contributed to an alleged condom shortage in Uganda and undermined the country's HIV/AIDS fight. Lewis said in a teleconference sponsored by health and human rights groups that "there is no question that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven and exacerbated by [the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] and by the extreme policies the administration in the United States is now pursuing" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/30). The shift in policy from promoting condom use to abstinence-only education "threatens to undermine the country's success in bringing AIDS into the open," the editorial says. If those who use condoms "are branded as immoral," it will "drive the epidemic back underground," the editorial adds, concluding, "No one knows better than the Ugandans that lives are saved when AIDS is treated as a public health challenge, not a moral crusade" (New York Times, 9/4).

Back to other news for September 6, 2005


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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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.
 
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