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2005-06-25-Condom Promotion Important Part of Responsible HIV/AIDS Prevention Models in Africa
"It is both reasonable and necessary to challenge those who promote positions and policies that lead to greater suffering and death from AIDS,"... Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling writes in a Seattle Times letter to the editor in response to a June 17 Times opinion piece (Kissling, Seattle Times, 6/22).
Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, in a Times opinion piece said condom promotion has been ineffective in Africa but promoting abstinence and fidelity has shown promising results on the continent, especially in Uganda (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/20).
However, a 2002 study by U.S. and Ugandan researchers showed that the greatest factor in reducing Uganda's HIV prevalence was premature death among HIV-positive people, and the second-most-important factor was condom use, according to Kissling.
"It is a shame Lopez has chosen to trivialize the efforts of those working to stem the spread of AIDS in Africa" by showing "a willful disregard of epidemiological studies and a lack of understanding of the complexity of HIV/AIDS prevention work," Kissling says. "Responsible prevention models" in the fight against HIV/AIDS should include "compatible messages and evidence-based strategies that integrate the A, B and C approach (Abstain; Be faithful; use Condoms)," Kissling writes (Seattle Times, 6/22).