The Cure for AIDS: An Epidemic of Chastity

January 1999By Anthony Zimmerman

Fr. Anthony Zimmerman is Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan. A member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, and the Japan Society of Demographers, he has been a priest for over 50 years.

As the proverb says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. AIDS is currently incurable, so how can we prevent the spread of AIDS and eventually eliminate it from the human race?

“To insist on the condom is pure illusion,” wrote Dr. Ntari Benoit from Brazzaville in the Congo in 1997, because this approach sends the false message that it’s “unnecessary to modify one’s sexual behavior, the primary cause of infection.” Dr. Benoit went on: “To change behavior and transform mentalities is fundamental; the longer we wait to act, the greater the risk is that it will be too late….”

There are no vaccines, continued Dr. Benoit, and medicines to relieve the sufferings are not within the reach of the Congolese. Education in chastity must begin with the youngest, Dr. Benoit added, “since for most of our secondary school students it may already be too late.” The Archdiocese of Brazzaville has instituted a comprehensive program, and the Church throughout the world is similarly challenged with a most serious mission: to modify human behavior as the most effective — and perhaps the only — way to halt the spread of pandemic HIV/AIDS. Several African countries exemplify the need.

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Thank you for posting the informative article "The Cure for AIDS: An Epidemic of Chastity" by Anthony Zimmerman. Chastity or abstinence should always be a primary focus of intervention in the current STD crisis. This concept begins to address the importance of responsible caring relationships, of under girding the structure of the husband/wife family unit (which is essential to a stable society), and helps continue to establish norms for a society which are time tested and proven. Too many social architects have attempted to ignore this obvious truth and thus many people groups are reaping the whirlwind because of it.
The teaching of chastity or abstinence should be foremost in the outreach for overcoming this tragedy. As well, educating people as to the devastating effects of STD's should continue to be taught. Let Condom instruction take a secondary role where it may appear necessary.
Thank you for the editorial.
God Bless,
Dr John G Leslie
Posted by: John G Leslie PhD, MD, PhD
October 04, 2012 06:23 PM EDT
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