“Joy of No Sex,” a new book published by a Hindu monk, takes a spiritual approach to AIDS prevention programs.
Swami Bhaktipada, a 54-year-old Hindu monk, preaches about celibacy and monogamous relationships in his book, which has received favorable reviews from AIDS education groups. These practices, he says, are the safest approaches for AIDS prevention.
“He wanted to write a book for everyone about living life joyfully without having to depend on others for happiness,” said Henry Doktorski, a United Humanities Services spokesman.
The book’s 12 chapters focus on the philosophical and practical approaches to living a celibate or monogamous lifestyle.
“He’s not saying that sex is bad … unrestricted sex is bad,” Doktorski said. “You don’t need limitless sex to be happy. Actually, happiness comes from within, not from someone else.”
NIU Health Enhancement Coordinator Michael Haines agrees with Bhaktipada that abstinence is the best method to prevent the spread of AIDS. “Abstinence is certainly a foolproof method,” he said.
However, Haines is quick to note that there are other effective methods to prevent the spread of AIDS.
He noted that practicing “safe sex” by properly using condoms is an effective method to reduce the spread of AIDS. Bhaktipada notes that condom use is not always 100% effective. He cited a recent NBC poll which stated that condom use was effective only 80 percent of the time. Haines noted that condom use is only ineffective when not used properly.
Haines also disagreed with Bhaktipada’s statement that AIDS education programs were not effective.
Haines noted that it is essential to present both methods to AIDS prevention. “The message our office is trying to get across is abstinence and safer sex,” he said.
The problem with presenting only one method, such as abstinence, is that there is either complete success or total failure. Haines notes that there is not an “either/or” solution. “The real answer is that a responsible health professional has to promote both,” he said.
The book, which sells for $4.95 at bookstores, can be obtained free of charge by writing to “Joy of No Sex,” c/o United Humanities Services, 298-B Palace Rd., Moundsville, W.Va., 26041.