News of the Day ... In Perspective8/4/2005
HIV infections decrease in Uganda
Uganda is the only third-world country to report a great reduction in its HIV infection rate, which has decreased from 18% in 1992 to 5-7% today. A campaign led by President Yoweri Musevini and his wife places strong emphasis on abstinence and marital fidelity.
The Philippines, which also emphasizes chastity and fidelity and has a very low rate of condom use, has kept its HIV rate down to 0.1%, one of the lowest in the world and one-sixth the rate (0.6%) in the United States with its enormous anti-AIDS efforts.
Instead of Uganda and the Philippines, UNAIDS has picked Thailand and Cambodia as examples to follow. These nations, with HIV prevalences of 1.5% and 2.6% respectively, use the comprehensive sex education and condom promotion methods. The Philippines is expected to follow the example of these countries (Population Research Institute Weekly Briefing 7/28/05, www.pop.org).