An article in the San Francisco Chronicle by freelance author Rena Singer last week examined loveLife, South Africa's national HIV prevention program for youth and one of the largest HIV/AIDS prevention programs in the world (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/15). The Chronicle on Sunday published three letters to the editor responding to the article. The letters are summarized below:
- David Harrison, CEO of loveLife, writes that the article is "one-sided" and fails to "grasp the complexities of HIV prevention in a generalized epidemic and makes assumptions based on factual errors," including the assertion that HIV testing is not available in loveLife youth centers. Harrison says there have been changes in sexual behavior among young people since the inception of loveLife and that there are "positive correlations between participation in loveLife and lower rates of HIV" (Harrison, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/21).
- Singer in a letter says she stands by her story and says some of the facts in question were "addressed in paragraphs trimmed from the story because of space" (Singer, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/21).
- Carl Bell -- president and CEO of Community Mental Health Council in Chicago, which conducts HIV prevention work in South Africa -- says he has "grave concerns" because he is "not convinced [loveLife] is working" and adds that it is difficult to get funding for other effective prevention programs in South Africa because "everyone is enthralled with loveLife" (Bell, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/21).
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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.