Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Feminism, Gender Violence, HIV/AIDS

Certified virgins

A  report from Uganda where a local leader has come up with a new way of preventing HIV/AIDS – awarding women who "practice sexual abstinence until marriage"  with "incentives such as certificates and other gifts". 

This is  beyond belief!  First of all expecting people to practice abstinence is ridiculous as people just wont do that.  Secondly it completely bypasses the issue of education about HIV/AIDS and practicing safe sex which is a lot more likely to take place than abstinence. Thirdly it takes no account of men’s sexual behaviour.  The whole idea is built on ignorance of HIV/AIDS and human sexuality; it devalues  women and assumes they are  responsible for the transference of sexually transmitted diseases.

A more sensible approach towards HIV/AIDS comes from Cote d’ Ivoire where Muslims gathered to try to break down some of the break down some of the prejudice against  HIV/AIDS in their community. 


  1. There is nothing wrong in the introduction in Uganda. That introduction does not also insinuate that women are responsible for HIV/AIDS. Your write-up took an extreme negative view of the issue at stake. Complete abstinence is possible, can be learnt and that is about one of the safest ways of avoiding HIV contagion. There is nothing like safe sex where it is not between two mutually faithful partners who do not expose themselves to other risk behaviours.And there is no way you can have this kind of relationship among the unmarried, whatever the pretences!

  2. mgb

    Then why not award these certificates to men as well? What difference does it make if a woman remains a virgin until marriage if she then marries a man who is already infected with HIV? It’s a double standard which is why Africa is in trouble in the first place…men are free to have sex whenever and with whomever they choose, both before AND after marriage!

  3. The reason why you can’t certify men is that there’s no physical sign that shows if a man has been having sex or not. You can certify us STD-free, however!

    I think it’s an excellent idea. Anything that helps to save lives needs to be supported. Drop the feminist badge for once; the women in question would be very happy to recieve the gifts, and that’s what matters.

  4. mgb

    What are the gifts in question and how do you know these women would be happy to receive them? And women don’t need to be virgins to be STD free, same as men. I’ll keep my badge, thanks.

  5. I will keep mine also. You think the right way to prevent HIV is to go around bribing one half of the population and leaving the other to do as they please. How often will you be checking men to see if they are STD free. What happens when they are married – Preventing HIV is about education and safe sex, reducing poverty, providing decent healthcare and living conditions.

  6. joshua b butler

    pasteed between time
    a personal fiction of prose and poetry begin to blend
    lace marks on the fresh skin
    powers of night
    on a back drop that would be night
    a place to hold you tighter
    she says
    love conqers
    time is around
    love divides mostly sound…;
    are we feeling close
    or do you hear this sound
    it could be your heart
    it could be love on the other hand
    hands hold hold on
    present mysterye’ of the goodess of night?

  7. clarius ugwuoha

    It takes two to tango, so they say. Whereby women evolve a new sexual consciousness, that is bound to affect and curb the male counterparts!

  8. What really drives their behavior is the need to be seen to care.

  9. We all know that, but we don’t care as long as the “need to be seen to care” causes them to do some actual good!