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The Iona Blog

New book says Western opposition to fidelity message is killing millions of Africans

Author: David Quinn
Date: 5th March 2011

Currently I am reading ‘Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World’ and it is a truly devastating expose of the AIDS industry in Africa.

In particular, it indicts the industry for doing its utmost to ignore, or deny, or actively undermine and condemn efforts to persuade at-risk Africans to moderate their sexual behaviour either by abstaining from sex or sticking to one partner, despite abundant evidence that this approach to the spread of HIV/AIDS works far better than any other.

The book is by Dr Ed Green, former Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard School of Health. Green has worked for many years promoting condoms and family planning in Third World countries.

However, Green has also spent many years trying to bring persuade the AIDS industry that condom promotion campaigns on their own do not reduce the spread of AIDS in general populations and that what has worked best is the ABC policy devised in Uganda, by Ugandans in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

ABC stands for ‘Abstain’, ‘Be Faithful’, ‘use a Condom’. The campaign was aimed mostly at young people and encourages them to abstain if they didn’t have a partner, if they did have a partner to be faithful to that partner, and if they could do neither of these things, then use a condom.

The approach was dramatically successful and slashed the rate of HIV/AIDS in Uganda, but there was also huge resistance to the programme from Western agencies on the grounds that it was unrealistic and moralistic.

All the evidence in its favour, cited by Green, was ignored, even when studies backing ABC were commissioned by the likes of UNAIDS.

Green is damning of these Western agencies for insisting ABC couldn’t work because they couldn’t stomach the fact that something which encourage abstinence and fidelity does actually work.

He quotes a study by Rand Stoneburner, an epidemiologist who used to work for the World Health Organisation in which Stoneburner estimates that if South Africa had promoted ABC between 2000 and 2010, roughly 3.2 million lives could have been saved. That is astounding.

It means a refusal to promote ABC is costing millions of lives all over Africa. In other words, the dogmatic resistance to the A and the B of ABC is killing people on a mass scale.

For the record, Green is an agnostic and a man of the left. He is, incidentally, the same person who defended the Pope when the Pope correctly said condom campaigns aren’t reducing the spread of AIDS in Africa.

The Pope was attacked for being dogmatic and he was told that his dogma is killing people. The exact reverse of this is the truth. The real dogmatists are his critics.

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