HUNGARY
Government Okays Abstinence Pitch

More than 150 Hungarian doctors and educators met in Budapest recently for a symposium on what is for this country a revolutionary approach to AIDS prevention: abstinence-based sex education.

“Using a condom is not the only answer to preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases,” Dick Day, coauthor with Josh McDowell of Why Wait?, told attenders. “You can change behavior.”

The symposium was sponsored by the Ministry of Health but coordinated by Campus Crusade for Christ in Hungary. Last year Crusade’s Gábor Grész proposed the idea of an abstinence-based AIDS-prevention program to Hungary’s top official for AIDS-related issues, Dénes Bánhegyi. “He responded to my proposal in 24 hours,” Grész says.

During the symposium, doctors and educators attended lectures and discussions on ethics, and morals-based sex education in schools. Organizers said they were given considerable freedom to incorporate Christian principles, and those discussions were met with enthusiastic, positive responses.

Now, with a grant of $20,000 from the Ministry of Health, Crusade will develop a curriculum based on Christian principles for use in Hungary’s schools.

By Thomas S. Giles in Budapest.

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