Affirming Love, Avoiding AIDS


July 2011

By Michael Cook, MercatorNet

The best research shows that restraint and fidelity are the solutions to the devastating epidemic. But the bureaucrats aren’t listening.

Earlier this year, the journal PLoS Medicine published a stunning report about the prevalence of AIDS in Zimbabwe. Over the ten years to 2007 HIV prevalence was halved. This decline is almost unique in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aha! you might say. Despite the disastrous state of its economy, Zimbabwe has been distributing condoms by the millions to bring down adult prevalence from 27 percent to 16 percent. But you would be quite wrong. It is not condoms which are saving the lives of thousands of Zimbabweans, say researchers, but changes in behaviour, “mainly reductions in extramarital, commercial, and casual sexual relations”.
In other words, it looks like abstinence and fidelity are the secret to turning around the devastating AIDS epidemic which has killed 30 million people and infected 33 million and orphaned 16 million children.
Not condoms.

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