Back in the 1990s and early 2000’s, when I was doing a lot of research on the politics of AIDS policy, it sure seemed hard to believe that billboards, classes, and other initiatives telling people in Africa to abstain from sex would actually cause anyone to abstain from sex. And alas, new research shows that all of this money — that might have been spent on AIDS treatment or on anything else — was squandered.
The money was part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. It went to sex ed classes and public health messages in Africa. Effective or not? A new study offers a clear verdict.