ABSTAIN, BE MONOGOMOUS

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FYI: Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Claude Allen added to a growing fear that the administration is retreating from HIV prevention when he closed an annual scientific conference on HIV prevention yesterday by declaring that the promotion of abstinence and monogamy is the best way to stop the epidemic. Allen said that “encouraging young people to abstain is the only appropriate initial strategy” for stopping HIV and added that, for those who are sexually active, “we must support and encourage monogamous relationships” in order to “promote a social norm which all communities have respected for generations.” In April, the CDC announced plans to focus prevention funding on testing efforts rather than community-wide campaigns to educate people about HIV and safer sex. Check out the upcoming September/October issue of City Limits magazine for an examination of that new focus. [7/31/03]