Alaska continues to be plagued by embarrassingly high rates of sexually transmitted diseases. We are consistently in the top 10 for gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. These are preventable diseases that spread due to rampant, multi-partner sexual behavior, which is unmoored from any sense that abstinence until marriage is possible, and even preferable.

In fact, widespread acceptance of abstinence until marriage is the one solution that would actually eliminate Alaska’s STD problem.

You’d think the State Health Department might mention that possibility – even in passing – but you’d be wrong. A recent alert about Alaska high STD rates is deafeningly silent on abstinence and marriage. Why?

Why must every public health solution embrace the notion that we are mere beasts, driven solely by animal urges and incapable of exercising free will for a higher good?

Perhaps the state bureaucrats who run inner bowels of the massive health department think abstinence and marriage are antiquated, religiously informed viewpoints, and as such must be systematically ignored – even in the face of stark reality.

If the state is going to spend its resources promoting free condoms and endless testing, someone ought to tell the underlings to at least include a token link on abstinence and marriage.

Just a thought.


— Email the Alaska Department of Health’s HIV/STD Program at

— Click here to contact Alaska Commissioner of Health Adam Crum

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Why won’t Alaska’s health department promote abstinence until marriage?

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.