Ethical aspects of HIV/AIDS prevention strategies and control in Malawi

Theor Med Bioeth. 2008;29(5):349-56. doi: 10.1007/s11017-008-9086-9.


HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns have been overshadowed by conflicting, competing, and contradictory views between those who support condom use as a last resort and those who are against it for fear of promoting sexual immorality. We argue that abstinence and faithfulness to one partner are the best available moral solutions to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Of course, deontologists may argue that condom use might appear useful and effective in controlling HIV/AIDS; however, not everything that is useful is always good. In principle, all schools of thought and faith seem to agree on the question of faithfulness for married couples and abstinence for those who are not married. But they differ on condom use. On the ground, the situation is far more complex. We simply lack a single, entirely reliable way to resolve all disagreements regarding HIV/AIDS prevention strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Condoms / ethics*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / economics
  • HIV Infections / genetics
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Malawi
  • Male
  • Moral Development
  • Poverty
  • Primary Prevention / ethics*
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Safe Sex
  • Sexual Behavior* / ethics
  • Unsafe Sex