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.