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Why isn’t abstinence being pushed more?

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16.JUN.06

• This is the second of a series or columns provided by the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat. Please post your questions to Communications Coordinator, NAS, Ministry of Health and the Environment, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines or via email to hivaidsunit@vincysurf.com.•

Q: I’m tired of hearing condoms being promoted so much. I think it promotes sexual activity. Why isn’t abstinence being talked about more?{{more}}

• A: There are two audiences for HIV protection information: those who are having sex and those who are not. People having sex are the ones at risk and they need information about safe sex. A survey conducted recently in SVG showed that the general public knows more about abstinence and faithfulness than about condom use.

It’s important to note that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that shows that education about condoms promotes sexual activity. People who commit to abstinence do so because their convictions are strong not because they don’t know about condoms.

Churches should continue the important work of promoting abstinence because in order for people in this culture to practice abstinence they need a strong support base. Churches should promote correct and consistent condom use, too.

I would be surprised to find a congregation where a young, unmarried woman hasn’t showed up pregnant. In St. Vincent, 20 percent of live births are to teenaged mothers.

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