Bush Administration’s Focus on Abstinence To Fight HIV/AIDS Not Productive in Africa, Editorial Says
Asking Africans, especially women, to choose abstinence "isn't likely to be productive" in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a Charleston Gazette editorial says. However, in an attempt to please the "religious right," the Bush administration has made abstinence education programs a condition of U.S. assistance to fight the disease, the Gazette says. It is "absurd for outsiders to step into sex-saturated cultures" and tell people to abstain from sex, the AIDS research director at the University of Pretoria in South Africa said, according to the editorial. In addition, the "White House approach fails to grasp that many African women and girls are subjugated so severely that they can't 'just say no' to sex," according to Nigeria AIDS Prevention Director Babatunde Osotimehin, the editorial says (Charleston Gazette, 8/23).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.