TORONTO, August 15, 2006 ( – While delegates at this week’s International AIDS Conference in Toronto are being told that the only hope for stopping the AIDS crisis in Africa is more condoms, the National Post reports that abstinence-only education works best to reduce sexual activity in teens and therefore the rate of sexually transmitted disease.

In addition, despite the theories of AIDS activists, the University of Pennsylvania study’s authors found that abstinence-only education also did not seem to affect the rates at which sexually active teenagers use condoms.

Speakers at the Toronto conference have emphasized prevention over hope for a cure. The disease has resisted efforts at creating a vaccine, say medical researchers, and a wait for a cure could be a long one. But the Conference’s emphasis on prevention has avoided the idea of teaching people not to engage in promiscuous sexual activity. To suggest that such activity spreads sexually transmitted diseases seems to be beyond the pale for most international AIDS activists who emphasize the use of condoms.

The Post says, however, that a study of 662 African-American Grade 6 and 7 children found those taught an abstinence-only approach were less likely to have had sexual intercourse by a 24 months’ follow-up. The study compared these students with those who were taught the “safer sex” doctrine emphasizing condom use without mention of abstinence.

The study also refutes one of the treasured theories of AIDS opponents that while abstinence education may delay the “sexual debut” of children, it reduces their use of condoms, which, it is alleged, leaves them open to disease. This argument was reiterated this week at the Toronto Conference by William J. Clinton. The former US president, famously uninterested in sexual continence himself, told delegates that abstinence-only education endangers children.

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