Confronted with ample evidence that teaching and promoting abstinence and fidelity are key elements in fighting the AIDS pandemic in Africa, the U.S. Congress eliminated funding for the programs. From Zenit:

The House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs decided to alter the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), by eliminating in 2008 the funding that currently promotes abstinence and fidelity as ways to combat the spread of HIV.

Congress is sacrificing lives to an agenda. Bishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the episcopal committee on international policy, said: “The U.S. bishops’ conference deeply regrets the action by the subcommittee that seriously undermines U.S. leadership in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

“This action rejects tried and true methods that have proven to actually reduce HIV infections. If allowed to go forward, this change could cost lives.”

For years we have heard that abstinence doesn’t work, and that only condoms will prevent AIDS despite all evidence to the contrary. The push for condoms in Africa has been going on for years and the cases of HIV continue to rise. But what of abstinence?

Lifesite: That only condoms and medical research will halt the spread of the disease is axiomatic in the international AIDS establishment. In actual practice, however, abstinence education has thus far been the only program in Africa that has significantly reduced the rate of HIV/AIDS. In the decades of the AIDS fight, the rate of HIV transmission has increased dramatically as more and more condoms are distributed by the mostly UN funded organizations.

In the history of the AIDS epidemic, the one country that did emphasize abstinence reduced its AIDS infection rate from 30% of the population to 6% in a matter of a few years. In 2004, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok that the emphasis on condoms was killing uncountable millions of Africans by encouraging them to sexual promiscuity and a false sense of security.

Congress faced the choice of modestly funding abstinence programs or choosing the agenda- driven lie of the culture of death. Death won in Congress and I am sorry to say that death will likely win in Africa. God help us all.