Youths vow sexual abstinence

A new anti-AIDS campaign, launched this week in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, has inspired hundreds of young people to commit themselves to sexual abstinence, according to the Pan African Press Agency.

In line with the programme, which focuses primarily on abstinence and faithfulness, rather than condom use, to prevent HIV infection, the youths signed cards embossed with the phrase 'True Love Waits'.

Doctor Ada Kakembo, an ophthalmologist with an emergency medical services provider, International Air Ambulance, said that in signing the cards the youths were "making a commitment to God, themselves, their families, country, future children and friends, to be sexually pure until marriage."

Although Uganda's 'Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms' strategy has been credited with helping to reduce its prevalence rate, experts have warned that a shift in focus, from providing young people with information about methods of HIV prevention, to emphasising sexual abstinence until marriage, could jeopardise efforts to counter AIDS.