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How About That... Not Playing with Knives Reduces Number of Cuts
09/03/2002

Ugandans have proven that, far from being the happy, sensual electricity-lacking savages that the patronizing leftists think Africans to be, they are in fact more able to control themselves than many in the Western world believe their own people to be. Yup, you guessed it: HIV is on the decline thanks to a strong abstinence initiative.

Even more beautiful is that the initiative is inherently conservative:

"What we're seeing in parts of Africa is communities responding to the epidemic by saying, 'Let's see what's in our culture — how can we deal with this with what we had in the past?' " Susan Leclerc-Madlalas, a medical anthropologist at the University of Natal in South Africa, told the Associated Press. "What they had most of the time was a way of regulating sexuality."

(Note that God definitely loves wordplay: the University of Natal in this context is so obvious that I wouldn't even consider using it in a work of fiction.)

Compare that cultural confidence with this bit of nonsense:

"Millions and millions of young people are having sexual relations," said Paolo Teizeria, director of Brazil's AIDS program, at the 14th International AIDS Conference. "We cannot talk about abstinence. It's not real."

Beyond pointing out that Mr. Teizeria doesn't even want to "talk about abstinence," I'd say there's a fundamental flaw in his thinking. The idea of abstinence is to stop those "millions and millions of young people" from having sex. Mr. Teizeria's statement is akin to suggesting that brakes can't help to keep a car from running a red light because the car is moving.

And while I'm at it, why don't we ever hear it said that because millions and millions of people smoke, it is unrealistic to ask them to stop? Shouldn't we promote the use of filters instead?

Posted by Justin Katz @ 02:32 PM EST