27 September 2004

Uganda: Abstain, Condom Not Safe, Mrs Museveni

Kampala — The First Lady, Janet Museveni, has challenged donors and others promoting condom use to tell the truth on how useless the condom is on some sexually transmitted infections like the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Mrs. Museveni expressed frustration with people discouraging sexual abstinence, during her meeting with new Makerere University students on Saturday.

The meeting under the Uganda Youth Forum, an organisation she started in 1992 to sensitise youth on the dangers of pre-marital sex and other wrong choices in life, took place at the university main campus.

The HPV is responsible for genital warts and once one contracts it, they have it for life. It is not clear how many people have the HPV in Uganda, but the numbers can only increase in a sexually active and adventurous community.

"It is a pity that some people, especially donors have been discouraging or soft peddling abstinence, arguing that it is unrealistic, especially with the African male sexual urges. In a way, they are reducing the youth to mere animals," Mrs Museveni said.

"May be these groups should make a condom to fight against corruption...," she added.

She said condom promoters give vague messages of 'abstain or wait until you are ready'.

She advised the youth to heed their parents' advice on sex and sexuality issues.

She said people should start re-discovering their cultural norms that emphasise purity.

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