.- Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, would be more effective in the fight against AIDS by speaking about their long and successful marriage rather than by promoting condom use, said a leading Ugandan AIDS activist.
“We don’t need more condoms from Bill and Melinda, but more hope and fidelity in marriage is a message of hope,” said Martin Sempa.
The Ugandan pastor is known as the “brains” behind the successful Ugandan educational campaign against AIDS, called the ABC program, which promotes abstinence and marital fidelity as the first two means of protection against the killer virus.
Sempa noted that Gates, who gave opening remarks at the Toronto International AIDS Conference this week, used the platform to promote the condoms approach to combating the disease. In fact, the crowd booed when he mentioned abstinence education and fidelity as approaches that are being used in some parts of the world.
“This [ABC] approach has saved many lives, and we should expand it,” he said to boos. The crowd began to cheer, however, when he spoke about the “limits” of such a program, and criticized abstinence and faithfulness as ultimately ineffective and unrealistic.
Sempa told LifeSiteNews.com that he avoided the Toronto conference because of the hostility he was likely to find to his message. The only trouble is, he said, the conference delegates are missing the basic fact that promiscuity is at the heart of the problem.
“The last gasp of life for a sexual revolution that has gone stale in the West is using the AIDS crisis as a means of keeping itself going,” Sempa told LifeSiteNews.com from Las Vegas, where he was giving a series of talks.
“Western experts, Bill Clinton, the UN, and the World Health Organization, look upon the AIDS problem as ‘not enough condoms’. We on the ground, those who actually live in the country, see that the problem is too much promiscuity,” he was quoted as saying.
Sempa also believes that the condom approach promotes a hatred and fear for abstinence and fidelity, which he calls “abstinophobia”, and a fear of marriage and motherhood, which he has dubbed “matriphobia”. The Toronto conference promotes both, he said, as well as loathing of traditional Christian values.
Sempa is a witness to the fact that the ABC program is extremely successful. In the 1980s, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Uganda was at 30 percent—in line with most African countries. Since the program was launched in 1987, the rate dropped to 6.2 per cent in 1994 and still remains among the lowest in Africa.
Furthermore, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Swaziland adopted the Ugandan program last year and are already seeing results.
Despite the success those at the Toronto conference slammed those who promote the program over the simple distribution of condoms. Gates’ wife, Melinda, went so far as to call into question the good will of people who oppose the condom approach, accusing them of having destructive ulterior motives. “If you oppose the distribution of condoms, something is more important to you than saving lives,” she reportedly said.