Abstinence and Aids in Africa

1 08 2007

don't have sex damn it!

This was submitted to me:

After checking out the Fear of Ignorance blog, I thought your readers might be interested in the timely new FRONTLINE/World video about AIDS education in Uganda that’s just gone up on our website.

“You must learn how to say no,” booms Ugandan evangelical minister Martin Ssempa. “Say ‘I do not want to have sex. I have chosen not to have sex.'” So begins this week’s Rough Cut, which looks at the controversy over U.S. funding for AIDS relief in Africa.

Producer Danielle Anastasion reports that some Ugandan AIDS programs are no longer promoting condom use for fear of losing their funding. The United States is the single largest donor to AIDS prevention in Uganda and much of the aid is dispensed through religious-based groups. However, a number of recent studies show rates of new AIDS cases going up since the abstinence-only approach began, and recently the US House of Representatives passed an amendment seeking to waive abstinence restrictions on US AIDS prevention funding for 2008.

Here’s the link: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2007/07/uganda_the_cond.html

In the video, you’ll hear from a variety of perspectives within Uganda;

Martin Ssempa, an evangelical minister in Uganda, supports an abstinence based approach. “The Western perspective toward AIDS prevention is largely a result of the ’60s; faith is a very low value,” he tells Anastasion. “In Africa, 80 percent of the people are peasants. They’re largely traditional. They’re largely religious. And the model that supports them to fight HIV/AIDS is different. But there’s this one-size-fits-all that’s being put on us — more condoms, more condoms, more condoms.”Florence Nabulenyi, one of the youth counselors Anastasion spoke to in Kampala,said that it was culturally difficult for young girls to choose whenand where to have sex. At the very least, they should be equipped with the tools they need to protect themselves.




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