From an article on HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
…Proud of his country’s achievement, Museveni rejects the Western priority on condom distribution–as if “only a thin piece of rubber stands between us and the death of our continent.” Rather, he says, “we made it our highest priority to convince our people to return to their traditional values of chastity and faithfulness or, failing that, to use condoms.” Ugandans have a colorful term for their goal of fidelity to a single partner: “zero grazing.”
Research confirming the effectiveness of Uganda’s behavior-based model comes from an unlikely quarter: the very health organizations that champion “safe sex” and condom distribution. The list includes the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization, and the Harvard School of Public Health. Most researchers now agree that 9 out of 10 Ugandan adults changed their behavior to avoid the disease.
Abstinence and marital fidelity were the most important changes, according to a recent study by Daniel Low-Beer and Rand L. Stoneburner in the African Journal of AIDS Research. Even teenagers, in large numbers, delayed having sex. Condom use among high-risk groups, such as those involved in commercial sex, apparently played a much smaller role. “Many of us in the AIDS and public health communities didn’t believe that abstinence and faithfulness were realistic goals,” says Edward Green, a medical anthropologist at Harvard with 30 years’ experience in Africa and Latin America. “It now seems we were wrong. The Ugandan model has the most to teach the rest of the world.”
The question still outstanding is whether the rest of the world is willing to listen.