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Higher Abstinence Rates in Many African Nations than in USA (9/04) PDF Print E-mail

No one can deny that HIV/AIDS is an epidemic in Africa. What can be questioned is how the world should deal with the crisis. Recent studies pour water on the fire of contraception distributors across the globe who promote the myth that Africans are unable to abstain from sex and are, therefore, in dire need of condoms. The recent uproar surrounding President Bush's decision to fund abstinence education efforts in Africa may soon be but a quiet whisper as studies reporting incredibly high rates of abstinence in many African nations begin to circulate...

For Abstinence Research and Studies, click here.

You don't have to have a federal grant to teach abstinence until marriage. You don't have to tell them about your past; just tell them how to protect their future! To teach your tweens and teens how to eliminate the risks by abstaining from sexual activity, click here. They want to hear from you...

Recent reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Division of Health Studies reveal the following: In Rwanda, 94 percent of 15-19 year old boys practiced abstinence (DHS 2000). In Ethiopia, 90 percent of males ages 15-19 were abstinent (DHS 2000). In Ghana, 85 percent of males ages 15-19 practiced abstinence (DHS 1998). In Nigeria, 83 percent of males ages 15-19 were abstinent (DHS 2003). In Zimbabwe, 78 percent of males ages 15-19 practiced abstinence. Estimates for Uganda's young men are roughly 78 percent.

Surveys have also shown that monogamy rates in many African nations are higher than previously thought. Those who are sexually active usually have only one partner, most often a spouse.

This data concurs with other recently released studies cited in a recent Africare Report:

"The most recent behavioral surveys (by DHS, PSI, LoveLife, Univ. of Capetown, etc) show that nowadays, slight majorities (55%-64%) of youth 15-19, M+F together, are reporting no sex partner at all in the past year. We Western AIDS experts scoff at these data, but that is what our million-dollar surveys are saying. The Nelson Mandela National Survey (Univ. of Capetown, 2003) even found that 23.1% of South African youth 15-19 were reporting secondary abstinence (i.e., no sex for one year, among those who had a previous sexual debut)."

While the majority of American teenagers are not having sex, the abstinence rates in these African nations are significantly higher than that of the United States. Why, then, do the false caricatures persist which paint Africans as sexually active from an early age and unable to remain faithful to one partner because of societal pressures and tradition? Why is the Western world spending billions of dollars exporting birth control that is not needed? Why has this data not been reported? Is it an unintentional oversight or a calculated omission?

It is believed that many African nations will soon see a measured decline in HIV/AIDS rates as a result of abstinent young adults and teens. Indeed, some decline is already notable in Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Swaziland.

The results of these studies prove the need to reexamine the culture of developing African nations before shipping millions more condoms across the Atlantic. HIV/AIDS is a painful, agonizing disease that deserves the world's compassionate attention. How many more lives could we help if our resources were devoted only to prevention methods that work and to the nursing and hospice care of those already afflicted?

The question that we must now ask is, "With abstinence and monogamy rates like these, who needs condoms?"
[Abstinence Clearinghouse, Breaking News Update, Jessemyn Pekari, 9Sept04]

 
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