Abstinence is a better antidote

THE health and social development departments published an update on their Aids-prevention strategy today. They are singing the same old tune, with condoms as the chief weapon to battle the pandemic.

After years of distributing hundreds of millions of condoms around the country, is it not obvious that this approach has not worked and that we need to find another solution? A home-grown one rather than the US and World-Bank backed planned-parenthood campaigns.

The education teens need is to understand the basic meaning and purpose of sex. That it is not a recreational activity, but a risky one. The notions being promulgated alongside the various "safe-sex" campaigns are that there is something wrong with you if you are not sexually active from your teens, that you are a prude, "tight-arsed" or worse. Responsible parents and dedicated youth ministers have the monumental task of finding antidotes to these potent messages pervading our airwaves and glossy magazines.

These campaigns are promoting casual sex rather than combating Aids and unwanted pregnancies. Is it any wonder the rape rate keeps rising?

Promote abstinence until marriage and fidelity within marriage. It is the most effective weapon against Aids, as well as the most economic. Promote chastity as a heroic virtue or even as "cool" (because virgins are more attractive), rather than as a far-fetched option for mad monks. Young people will go all out for it.

Francois Dufour, Southdale