The US Department of health and Human Services have released a report stating that 'abstinence only' programmes have not been working and that half of the students who have taken part in these programmes have not abstained.
This really got me thinking because in Botswana (which has the highest HIV/AIDS rates in Southern Africa) the government organisations and Non-governmental organisations have preached ABC (Abstain, Be faithful and Condomise). The ABC's have obviously not gone down well because the HIV numbers keep going up and more babies are being born with the virus.
So what is wrong? Me and my friend (who has recently worked for an HIV/AIDS NGO) always ponder this question and what we come up with is that the A and C are the ones that are always in the limelight by the B is always left behind. We know that if a person doesn't have belief in abstinence, no matter how many times you entice them with silver rings, they will not abstain. We live in a world that tells everyone who will listen that S-E-X is good and should be had and if you're not having it, there is something wrong. So what do you think someone young or even not that young will do? They will have sex of cause.
Of cause the C is very important in the message of safe sex but in moments of drunk fondlings and 'we trust each other' moments, the C word is very much forgotten until the test comes back negative.
So why is the B pushed aside? It seems that here in Botswana it is fun to have three or four relationships all at the same time and this is attributed to all the sexes regardless if they are male or female, multiple relationships are the in thing. So no one wants to hear about Be faithful...Be faithful? What is that?
But if we don't have the ABC all working together how do we hope to fight this virus? If you can't abstain which we all know is very difficult for some, why can't one be faithful with one partner and for the both of them to stick to that partner. If one strays, why can't they be honest and use a condom? It seems so simple but obviously very hard.