Pope praises Uganda’s AIDS prevention program


Among Pope Benedict XVI’s meetings today was the reception of nine new ambassadors to the Vatican, an unusually high number. In his address to Uganda’s new ambassador Nyine S. Bitahwa, the Holy Father praised the country’s successful efforts to curb the spread of AIDS through encouraging abstinence and fidelity, in defiance of U.N. pressure to rely only on condoms.

Uganda’s efforts to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS have been met with a high success rate and rely on what is known as the ABC method, which does not emphasize the use of condoms.

Pope Benedict lauded the advances in healthcare made by Uganda and its “successful policy of prevention based on continence and the promotion of faithfulness in marriage."

The U.N. Population Fund places very little emphasis on behavioral change and instead works off the assumption that people will not be faithful. Consequently, they also place the majority of their efforts on distributing free condoms.

Another Ugandan development that the Pope found praiseworthy was, “the culmination of efforts to formalize peace agreements and to bring to a conclusion the long years of warfare marked by cruel and senseless violence."  He also expressed his hope that all displaced people may "return to their homes and resume a peaceful and productive existence."

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