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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Glasnost and Sex


New York Times (01/23/90), P. A23

Glasnost has caused the eroticization of popular culture in the Soviet Union, opening subjects once considered taboo--pre-marital sex, contraceptives, abortion, venereal disease, and prostitution--to public scrutiny, writes Dmitri N. Shalin, visiting scholar at the Russian Research Center at Harvard University. Premarital sex is increasingly common, Shalin writes, and unwanted pregnancies and sexual transmitted diseases are rising at alarming rates. With the country's belated sexual revolution, says Sahlin, has come a fresh concern: AIDS. In the Soviet Union, contraceptives are unreliable or nonexistent, he says, and carrying a sexually transmitted disease is a criminal offense. Prostitution ranks as a prestigious occupation among young women, says Shalin, who writes that "to serve this hidden front in the battle for perestroika," the U.S. should "send condoms, not computers," donate anesthetics, deliver disposable syringes to combat the spread of HIV, and provide family planning and sex education experts.


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