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HIV Prevention through Abstinence-only Programs

ual health." In the United States several federally funded abstinence programs have been known to push distorted and inaccurate information about sexual health, homosexuality and abortion.

However Mr. Jemmott asserted that not all abstinence interventions should be lumped together "and thrown away," and there is no logical reason that an abstinence intervention cannot be effective.

His study promoted abstinence from vaginal, anal and oral sex until a later time in life when youth would be able to handle the consequences of a sexual relationship. All mention of condoms was removed, only instructing facilitators not to say anything negative about them. The team involved a researcher from the University of Waterloo.

The subjects of the study were followed for two years. Mr. Jemmott said, ‘We changed the intention to have sex’ through videos, video clips, role-playing and group discussions. Sexual debut of youth who were virgins when the study began were also delayed.

"We caused them to have more positive attitudes towards abstinence and the negative consequences of engaging in sexual activity at an early age, including less likely to achieve one's career goals."
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