World’s AIDS Day and the LDS Church
Posted by chads on December 1, 2006
Today is World’s AIDS Day, an opportunity for “people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”
Last year, Elder Robert C. Oaks gave an interview about the Church’s response to HIV/AIDS. He said:
The AIDS pandemic is an everyday reality in Africa. We didn’t have to persuade anyone that this is a horrendous societal and personal health problem. The people we worked with were hungry for answers. When we started to pull these materials together, people working on this issue had begun to see from their own statistics that the “safe sex” approach of explicit education and free condom distribution wasn’t working. They were looking for a better answer, and the best answer is found in gospel principles of morality, strong families and understanding who we are as Heavenly Father’s children.
I will soon post (Q&A) the best data answering the following questions:
-How effective is condom distribution in reducing HIV prevalence in Africa?
-How effective are abstinence campaigns in reducing HIV prevalence in Africa?
(Please note that my purpose is not to analize the Chruch’s programs. Indeed, the most effective public health intervention may not be the “best answer,” to borrow Elder Oak’s words, especially from an eternal, spiritual perspective. My purpose is to simply answer public health questions using the best evidence.)