Summary of of Jessica Reaves’s “What the Rest of Africa Could Learn About Aids”

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Jasmine Zamora
K. Carter
English 1301, 11:00-12:15
September 24, 2012
Summary of Jessica Reaves’s “What the Rest of Africa Could Learn about AIDS”
In her essay “What the Rest of Africa Could Learn about AIDS” Jessica Reaves suggest that “comprehensive sex education—including information about condoms and how to use them—is one of the most important weapons in the fight against AIDS.” According to Reaves, countries in Africa with high infection rates could significantly reduce the outbreak of AIDS by simply promoting safe sex. Reaves concludes this by looking at statistics and taking note that African countries with lower rates of AIDS are participating in safe sex and are actively informed about safe sex.

Reaves took interest in seeking information about AIDS prevention after taking note that some countries in Africa had rates as low as 0.9 percent, while others had rates as high as 18.8, 19.6 and 24.1 percent of the AIDS virus. Reaves talks about visiting a classroom filled with twelve and thirteen year old students who were more than excited to talk about sex, she was also surprised at their knowledge on the subject. These young students were from Senegal, a country with a low rate of AIDS. After this initial instance, Reaves is then intrigued with questions on why this is possible. She later concludes that the country of Senegal’s government is actively involved in sex education, providing prevention programs and plenty of resources. Therefore, being open minded and speaking openly about sex can significantly help decrease the spread of AIDS.

Other factors do affect AIDS prevention, such as religion. At one point Reaves speaks to an imam who states that they do not teach the concept of condoms because it contradicts their religion, but instead teach abstinence before marriage and monogamy after. Although this is a nice concept, the reality of abstinence and monogamy is too much to ask for from some people. This causes the city of Kolda to have a...
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