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PEPFAR Abstinence Programs Not Associated With Reduction In HIV Risk Behavior In Africa, Study Shows

Bloomberg: It’s Tough to Stop Sex, Study of U.S. AIDS Effort Shows
“…The U.S. has spent more than $1.4 billion since 2004 telling young people in Africa to abstain from sex before marriage and then commit to a single partner. That funding didn’t influence the number of sex partners people had, the age at which they started having sex, or teen pregnancy rates, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Health Affairs by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine…” (Tozzi, 5/2).

San Diego Union-Tribune: Federal HIV abstinence program ineffective in Africa, study finds
“…[A]n examination of the behavior of nearly 500,000 people in 22 countries failed to find any evidence that the education program had made any difference in changing behavior, the study found. So the study suggested PEPFAR should shift funding to other initiatives that have shown more effectiveness…” (Fikes, 5/2).

SF Gate: Stanford HIV study casts doubt on abstinence efforts in Africa
“…Already, funding for such programs has dropped off substantially under the Obama administration, from a peak of $260 million in 2008 to less than $50 million this year. The new report, published in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that the money would be better spent on HIV prevention programs that have been shown to cut infection rates, such as promoting condom use, circumcising males, and distributing drugs that protect people from the virus that causes AIDS…” (Allday, 5/2).

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