2010. 22 p.
Cynn, Christine
Periodical title: 
Transformations, 21 (2)
Abstince-only education programs in the United States have been controversial since their inception in 1981 because of their lack of efficacy and because of the sexualities and behaviors that they promulgate. Barack Obama's 2010 budget eliminates federal funding for abstinence-only education programs in the US; however, the outline of his five-year strategy for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) does not indicate whether the US government will continue to mandate abstinence-only education in so-called "focus countries", primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Initiated by George W. Bush, PEPFAR constitutes the single most important source of financing for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in most focus countries, and its policies and programs, including those promoting abstinence, are designed for maximum impact. While feminism amd anticolonial nationalism have challenged as well as supported abstinence-only education, such appeals have been co-opted and adapted to unanticipated effects. In Uganda, they have been appropriated in the service of Yoweri Museveni's government, and in Côte d'Ivoire to support a virulent form of Ivoirian nationalism and national identity articulated as Ivoirité. This history of the implementation of PEPFAR underscores the importance of paying close attention to the stipulations related to funding for abstinence-only education, to the terms appealed to justify such efforts, and to the effects of their funding.
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