1. Consider the current federal strategy for HIV and AIDS prevention required of programs that want to receive funding from the U.S. government, both in the U.S. and in developing nations overseas.
2. Describe what makes a person able to successfully practice abstinence, be faithful in a relationship, and use condoms.
3. Assess the usefulness of the â€œABCâ€ approach as a way to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections in their own lives, and in the lives of young people overseas.
The United States government is increasingly funding programs that support an â€œABCâ€ educational approach for HIV prevention, both in the U.S. and in developing nations overseas. In this approach, â€œAâ€ is for â€œAbstain,â€ â€œBâ€ is for â€œBe Faithful,â€ and â€œCâ€ is for â€œUse Condoms.â€ Like â€œabstinence,â€ the term â€œbe faithfulâ€ may have an unclear meaning, or different meanings for different people. In addition, the linear message (i.e., â€œBe sure to practice A, but if you donâ€™t, then practice B, with C as a last resortâ€) can leave people with considerable health risks. For example, a person who is practicing â€œbe faithful,â€ while their partner is not, may acquire a sexually transmitted infection. Or, a couple that practices â€œbeing faithfulâ€ by having only vaginal intercourse without condoms or other contraceptives may face an unexpected pregnancy.
Nevertheless, to the degree that funding for these programs increases, â€œABCâ€ messages will increasingly impact on the lives of young people. This lesson gives them the opportunity to assess the meanings of such phrases in their own lives, and the attributes necessary to successfully follow each part of the message â€“ abstaining, being faithful, and using condoms.
Note: Educator may wish to precede or follow up this lesson with their favorite STI/HIV prevention lesson.