Working to combat AIDS in Africa

The other day, courtesy of a kind reader, I received a copy of the book "Culture of Life - Culture of Death", edited by Luke Gormally and published by the Linacre Centre. The book is a collection of 22 articles on various aspects of the subject. In the page about the book from the Linacre Centre you can see a list of the articles and some quotations from reviews of the book.

My correspondent particularly wanted me to read Sr Miram Duggan's article "Combating the spread of AIDS". Sr Miriam is a gynaecologist and was (at least at the time of publication in 2002) Superior General of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa. She has worked as a missionary doctor in Africa for 30 years. She describes a practical and down-to-earth approach to behaviour change, working especially through the "Youth Alive" workshops which promote sound spiritual, moral and cultural values among the young and offer character-building to help them to live these values. She also offers evidence from Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia showing the success of this approach in significantly reducing the spread of the virus.

She is also very concerned to reduce the stigma so that a supportive response is given to those living with HIV/AIDS and encouragement given to them also to be part of the change of attitude that leads to effective reduction of infection.

In part of her conculding section, she says:
"If society addressed the root causes for the spread of the virus and returned to the values of no pre-marital sex and faithfulness in marriage AIDS could be drastically reduced. if the millions invested in Latex rubber as a prophylactic were instead invested in addressing the root causes I think the outcome would be much more beneficial to society."
Sewn paperback, 352 pages, £17.95 (excellent value for such a collection.) There are ordering details at the Linacre Centre website.

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