SIMMONS: Ending complacency on HIV means embracing abstinence

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In a word: The ongoing battle against one of the nation’s worst public-health epidemics has had President Obama on the same side since spring, when he proposed funding abstinence programs as part of comprehensive sex-education policies.

Condoms serve a purpose and being aware of your status and seeking effective medical treatment do, too — as many of the faces in the CDC ad campaign prove (

But let’s hope the CDC’s ad campaign doesn’t take as long to evolve as Mr. Obama’s position.

The “A word” — abstinence — shouldn’t be stigmatized by the government or by individuals.

As the CDC campaign explains, HIV does not discriminate.

People do.

Ending complacency means embracing abstinence.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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