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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 23, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 18Jul00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Group Helps Zimbabwe Fight AIDS With Frank Talk
Salt Lake Tribune 17Jul00 P4
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- A detailed article in today's Salt Lake Tribune describes the efforts of nonprofit Deseret International (Zimbabwe), a group of LDS Church members in Africa, to fight AIDS. The program, called "Education for Life" trys to get teenagers to change their behavior through education about sexual behavior.

Steve Mann, president of Deseret International, says the group believes that the International efforts to distribute condoms and discuss AIDS haven't helped stem the pandemic. He adds that poverty, a lack of education, cultural proactices forbidding discussion of sexual behavior and "perceived Western values of casual sex" have all contributed to the proliferation of the disease and inhibited efforts to stop its spread. Deseret International's program tries to address these problems.

The program holds three- and four-day workshops with students of boys and girls schools, giving the students the "language, skills and comfort to talk about AIDS," according to Mann. To avoid cultural taboos, English words for genitalia are taught and used. The program also teaches the values of having just one sex partner, reserving sex until after marriage and remaining faithful to a single marriage partner.


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