Report: United States Wasted $1.4 Billion on Abstinence Education in Africa

200px-US10dollarbill-Series_2004AWith states and cities struggling to support schools, infrastructure and other basic necessities, our government continues to spend wildly and wastefully with little political accountability. The latest such example is the $1.4 billion dollars spent on abstinence-only education as an effort to reduce the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa from 2004-2013. A new study shows that the program never showed any success and yet the government continued to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Africa because the program was politically attractive.

In 2003, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) had a requirement that one-third of the money be allocated to abstinence-only education efforts. While later dropped, we wasted $1.4 billion that could have been used for countless needed programs both domestically and internationally.

President George W. Bush proposed PEPFAR in 2003, but Congress insisted that a third of the money for HIV prevention should be earmarked for programs teaching abstinence before marriage and faithfulness. The result were billboards and radio ads that were viewed as useless and ineffectual.

Eran Bendavid, an infectious disease doctor, and his team at Stanford University studied surveys given to nearly a half-million people in 22 countries. Fourteen countries received funding from PEFPAR between 2004 and 2013 while eight did not. The results showed that there was no real change in the conduct of young people, something most Americans could have told you before burning $1.4 billion. There was also no detectable differences in the rates of teenage pregnancies, average number of sexual partners and age at first sexual intercourse in countries that had received PEFPAR money. It turns out that a billboards in the middle of a highway has as little impact in Africa as it does America.

That lesson however cost $1.4 billion. The “successful” element was that politicians could claim that they insisted that AIDS money be used to fight promiscuity.

73 thoughts on “Report: United States Wasted $1.4 Billion on Abstinence Education in Africa

  1. Joe Jones,

    We give money to Israel that goes directly for Israeli women who want abortions, why not offer African women the same?

    And do you really not understand the mass incarceration of African American men in the US, targeted by the for-profit prison system and the communities that were so upset about black men being allowed to vote? We know for a FACT that the DEA stays away from white neighborhoods and wealthy neighborhoods. Local law enforcement does the same. Remember the crack cocaine laws? Nixon started the whole Law and Order campaign as part of his Southern Strategy, and it’s been going strong ever since. How else have we managed to make black men 35% of our prison population. You think that just happened???

    RandyJet and phillyT
    Good comments all the way.

  2. Tom Wisdom
    Don’t be too hard on Squeaky. She’s still upset that Governor Brown refused to let her old pal Leslie Van Houten out on parole. Sorry about your friend Squeaks.

    But tell me, does Donald remind you of Charlie? He does to me a little bit.

  3. @JDepardoo:
    The primary origin of “Zionism” and Israel-first-ism in the West: Zionists controlled Oxford U. in the early 20th C. In the USA was a drunk, convicted criminal fraud, who abandoned his wife and children, named John Scofield. JS was unpublished and w/o college degree.

    Oxford’s practice was to publish only prior-published authors. Oxford paid JS’s travel expenses to England. Some time latter, Oxford published the “Scofield Reference Bible,” the first ever Bible w/Reference Notes.

    In one part of the OT (Exodus IIRC) Abraham had no children, his son Isaac was not born, and of course ditto Isaac’s latter son Jacob did not exist (God latter changes Jacob’s name to Israel). Yaweh says to Abraham: “I shall bless those who bless thee, and I shall curse those who curse thee.”

    In the above vs. the Zionist (AKA Scofield) footnote defines “thee” NOT as Abraham, the subject Yaweh addresses, but rather as the nation of “Israel,” even though Issac and Jacob and Israel did not exist at that time. Notice, taken in context, such interpretation is impossible. And no where latter does the Bible instruct readers to follow the Zionist interpretation.

    This is the first time the West was formally exposed to Zionist faux-Christian philosophy. The Oxford Zionists purchased and shipped to Western “pastors” free copies of their Zionist propaganda, and it spread like wildfire.

    Oxford has performed approximately 1000 edits to Scofield’s Reference Bible (still in print), and specifically hides documentation of said edits. If someone picked it up today and read it, they’d likely presume they read it as JS allegedly wrote it in the early 20th C.

    If you listen to Protestant radio pastor “sermon” (painful I know, do this only for research), you shall soon likely hear a lying neo-con “pastor” repeat this exact verse and the Zionist interpretation thereof. Today, it’s appropriate to presume, till proven otherwise, persons who self-describe as “evangelist” hold dear the above Zionist/Scofield philosophy.

    I am convinced, if not for Zionist-faux-Christian political influence, America’s foreign military excursions would come to a screeching halt.

  4. joseph jones

    What I know about Israel and its relationship to American Christians comes from visiting a slew of Baptist and Evangelical churches and reading their little booklets. The one and only reason they support Israel is because they believe that in order for the “prophecies” to be fulfilled and Big Jesus to return is that Israel stays in the game. Once Jesus comes back and does his thing, he’s going to give the Jews one last chance to accepts him as the ONE AND ONLY and then he’s going to kill them or send them to their eternal damnation. These Christians are just fine with all that. If that’s what you’re talking about, then we’re good to go.

    Personally I don’t think American aggression is about Zionism. I think it’s plain old everyday colonial materialistic greed and power. We were colonized by the Dutch, Spanish and English. Mostly. Look at how much of the world they took over and the rape, torture, murder, environmental degradation and perversion they left behind. We simply picked up where they left off and took it to a new level.

    Going to leave the French out of it for now, for obvious reasons. mon dieu!

  5. J Jones
    SCOTUS had nothing to do with the 3/5 “compromise”. It was a deal the Constitutional authors made to get the southern states on board with the whole united states thing without giving them control over representation in the government.

    As for the Catholic church, we really don’t know how many they have killed and they won’t say. It is a fact however, that God kills more unborn in a month than abortions have killed in the history of the world. No idea why He/She kills so many unborn but that’s a fact.

    As for zygotes, other than our DNA, we adult humans have more in common with parrots, dolphins, apes, dogs and monkeys than we do with single cell creatures. A zygote is much closer to being a sperm or egg cell than being a person in every way. And you know we don’t punish people for “disposing” of sperm cells, right?

    A zygote cannot reason, cannot choose, cannot think, cannot laugh, they have no sense of humor (trust me on that!), they have no hopes, dreams, hunger, passion, wishes, etc. They certainly have no rights, and that they do share with the rest of the animals we feel free to kill. Another interesting bit of trivia for you is that until fairly recent times, the Catholic Church did not believe the soul entered the fetus until the “quickening” and they were hunky dory with abortion up to that point. So it turns out we really DON’T know how many unborn the church has killed.

  6. The real question is, who was profiting from this. Where was the money going?

    It was most likely going to some associate of some politicians who in turn was kicking back some of the money into the politicians pockets. Thats how these rackets of govt contracts/funding work.

    Its not enough that we question the futility of these type of projects. Instead we need to start FOLLOWING THE MONEY on every project that the US Govt funds

  7. It has nothing whatsoever to do with “abstinence”. Saudi Arabia and the US are paying people in Africa $300-$500/month if they become Muslim to counter the explosive growth of Christians taking place on the continent.

  8. I don’t get this. The 1.4 billion was only a minor part of a much larger program. Obviously, the entire program failed. So why single out the “abstinence” part?

  9. “Catholics have not, since Roe v. Wade, murdered 65M fellow (unborn) Americans” – Joseph Jones, July 26, 2016 at 6:50 pm.

    I disagree. The Roman Catholic Church has killed millions – probably billions:

    – Preaching “go forth and multiply” and opposing contraception, bringing our planet to near-ecological destruction from overpopulation [how many died in-utero?, or will NEVER be born?];
    – Hatred of the LGBTQQIAAP community resulting in countless deaths – not just in the US, but encouraging such violence abroad. How many of them could have adopted and saved a homeless child?;
    – Snuggling-up to Islam will result in eventual worldwide deaths in the millions or even billions.

    And, let us never forget the eternal sins of “The Inquisition”.

    I will support and defend anyone’s supernatural beliefs – until they start to destroy whole planets.

  10. American consumers could also buy “Fair Trade” certified products to help modernize some parts of Africa and built stable governments, which also helps American workers compete globally. America’s largest corporations could also help create middle-class salaries in that part of the world, instead of exploiting and polluting those areas.

    “PhillyT” also had some great ideas on 7-26-16 at 6:27pm – what if that money had been spent on condoms and other forms of birth control?

  11. Africa has some of the most intelligent and well educated citizens in the world, the problem is corrupt leaders and corrupt government systems in Africa.

    The immigrants from some African nations to the U.S. are better educated than immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world. In the Washington DC area there are former African doctors, engineers, etc that are now cab drivers since the U.S. won’t transfer their credentials.

    Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Eugene Robinson, wrote a great book titled “Dissintegration” that tells about the recent immigration to the United States from these highly educated immigrants.

  12. Paul S

    Yes of course. Here’s one:

    Frank K. Flinn, J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of Catholicism (Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Religions 2007 ISBN 978-0-8160-5455-8), p. 4

    And another:

    David L. Hull, Michael Ruse (editors), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge University Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-52185128-2), p. 328

    And here’s an interesting summary on the subject:
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist.htm

    • phillyT – thanks for the cites. It seems that even at its most permissive, the Roman Catholic Church was not very lenient.

  13. The conservatives don’t care for abstinence programs because it interferes with their pederast activities and the liberals hate it because it makes their homosexual playtime a no no

  14. @phillyT wrote: “…As for zygotes, other than our DNA, we adult humans have more in common with parrots, dolphins, apes, dogs and monkeys than we do with single cell creatures. A zygote is much closer to being a sperm or egg cell than being a person in every way. And you know we don’t punish people for “disposing” of sperm cells, right?…”

    A zygote, unlike the cells of the animals you listed, comprises the 46 “human” chromosomes, same as every other human being.

    “…A zygote cannot reason, cannot choose, cannot think, cannot laugh, they have no sense of humor (trust me on that!), they have no hopes, dreams, hunger, passion, wishes, etc…”

    The qualities you list apply to any unconscious human being. Some apply to sleeping persons. To call your argument weak is an understatement.

    “…They certainly have no rights, and that they do share with the rest of the animals we feel free to kill…”

    I see your argument is so weak that you had to fall back on the “SCOTUS says it’s OK” argument, the same SCOTUS which allowed blacks to be defined as “3/5ths human.” BTW, SCOTUS defines “legal” as killing babies who have not exited the womb, which quality is of course impossible to enforce (babies are legally killed who have partially exited the womb).

    “…Another interesting bit of trivia for you is that until fairly recent times, the Catholic Church did not believe the soul entered the fetus until the “quickening” and they were hunky dory with abortion up to that point. So it turns out we really DON’T know how many unborn the church has killed…”

    Link or I presume unadulterated horse manure, like the rest above.

  15. Spending excess money on ‘good causes’ (however you define them) is a matter of taste. But with a declining infrastructure and numerous other problems in the United States, can it really be said that the 1.4 billion was ‘excess’? Leaving aside the arrogance of presuming we have the right to meddle in the private affairs of over nations. And would we allow those other nations to meddle in our private matters? If Sweden offered handouts and training for U.S. homeless, on the grounds that we clearly couldn’t help our own people, would we shrug and say ‘Okay, fine’? Somehow, I doubt it…

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