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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Until marriage or graduation?' Abstinence-only strategies and their impact on university students in Uganda
Author:Twesiime-Kirya, MonicaISNI
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:sex education
Abstract:Over the past several years, Uganda has drawn worldwide praise for its apparent success in reducing HIV/AIDS rates from over 10 percent to the prevailing 6 percent. Much of this success has been attributed to the public education campaign implemented by the government, the 'ABC' campaign, where 'A' stands for abstinence until marriage, 'B' for being faithful, and 'C' for condom use. However, this campaign has changed in such a manner as to emphasize only abstinence, to the detriment of Ugandans, particularly the youth. As the debate on the campaign continues, it is not always clear whether it is based on religion, culture, morals or public health policy. This paper interrogates abstinence-only in Uganda to ascertain its potential and limitations for the promotion of public health, gender equality and human rights. Particularly, it examines the effectiveness of abstinence-only strategies on Makerere University students, with regard to the choice of media, as well as the messages and strategies used. The paper confirms earlier studies elsewhere that expressed scepticism about the effectiveness of the abstinence-only approach to HIV/AIDS prevention. It argues that the focus of the campaign should shift from promoting abstinence-only to providing comprehensive sex education and information that will enable young people to make informed choices about their sexuality. There is consequently a need to adopt a pragmatic sexual rights-based approach that emphasizes sexual integrity, autonomy and choice. Notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]