Advocacy Organizations, U.S. Government Should Overcome Disagreements on Approach to HIV Prevention Efforts, Editorial Says
There is an agreement among organizations fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic to promote the ABC prevention method -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- but "getting the right balance of the three has led to unproductive disputes," a Boston Globe editorial says. "Two recent developments offer hope that barriers between organizations fighting AIDS might be breaking down," including the Vatican's possible examination of condom use by married couples in which one partner is HIV-positive and a meeting in Washington, D.C., organized by Physicians for Human Rights. During the meeting, religious leaders discussed the promotion of a more comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS prevention, and they later shared their views with members of Congress, according to the editorial. Although the abstinence approach "undoubtedly works for some young people," it would benefit children, particularly girls, to hear a message that "relie[s] not just on appeals to religion or maintaining chastity until marriage but also focuse[s] on education, self esteem and empowering women in their relations with men," the editorial says. Groups who work to bring this type of message to young people "should compete for a role in U.S. programs, even if they cannot advocate condom use." Because HIV/AIDS poses such a threat to Africa and the global community, the U.S. government and nongovernmental organizations should work together and "do whatever it takes to prevent" the spread of HIV/AIDS, the editorial says (Boston Globe, 4/29).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.