Rome (AsiaNews) – The “scourge [of AIDS] cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem,” said the Pope. Since he made the statement criticism has been voiced around the world for his alleged lack of sensitivity towards the tragic epidemic that is affecting many parts of the world, especially Africa.
Dutch Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders said the Pope’s remarks were “extraordinarily harmful and serious” and “making matters worse.” France’s foreign minister said that Benedict XVI’s words “put in danger public health policies and the imperative of protecting human life”. Germany’s health minister said that it would be “irresponsible” to deny “the poorest of the poor” the use of condoms.
So much (fake) humanitarianism by representatives of European governments is especially irrational and unscientific. The United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS) in a 2003 study indicated that condoms are ineffective in protecting against HIV an estimated 10 per cent of the time. Other studies have suggested that failure rates might be as high as 50 per cent.
In Thailand, Dr Somchai Pinyopornpanich, deputy head of the Disease Control Department in Bangkok, said that 46.9 per cent of men and 39.1 per cent of women who use condom are infected by HIV-AIDS.
When the Pope said “we risk worsening the problem,” statistics bear that out. Countries like South Africa, which have embraced safe sex and condom use with support from the United Nations, the European Union and non-governmental organisations have seen AIDS explode. Countries that have promoted abstinence and fidelity have cut infection rates.
One study is a case in point. In his research, Edward Green of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies looked at Uganda’s ABC method (ABC as in Abstinence; Be faithful; Condom), which was introduced in 1986. His findings indicated that infection rates in that country dropped from 21 per cent to 6 per cent since 1991. Green, who once was a supporter of safe sex and condom use, is now in favour of abstinence and fidelity within couples.
Many studies, including some by the United Nations, show that nations with highest condom use also have higher HIV-AIDS infection rates.
Norman Hears, a family physician and epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said that “Condom promotion in Africa has been a disaster”.
And just to measure the danger of Catholic influence, all one has to look is the Philippines, 85 per cent Catholic, were HIV prevalence is a mere 0.01 per cent.
Even the New York Times, which recently attacked the Pope for his “dangerous” words, had to admit that traditional morality, based on abstinence and fidelity, defeated AIDS in the Philippines. In a 20 April 2003 article it said that in the Philippines, “a very low rate of condom use and a very low rate of HIV infection seem to be going hand in hand. AIDS-prevention efforts often focus on condoms, but they are not widely available here—and are mostly shunned—in this conservative Roman Catholic country.”
Given all this evidence why is it that officials from the United Nations, the European Union and “humanitarian” organisations continue to insist on the need to use condoms, attacking the Catholic Church which stresses the need for education, abstinence and fidelity within the couple.
Could it be that they have something to gain? Could it be that they have stocks in condom companies? Perhaps not but I think this stubbornness when it comes to the condom and against the Catholic Church and the Pope is just the latest form of neo-colonialism.
As a PIME missionary from Africa once put it, some think that African men cannot be educated to be responsible—reducing safe sex to technical means is the easiest solution.
However, by eliminating the notions of responsibility and fidelity the bodies of African women end up being completely objectified, and not only that. Even the most ardent feminist, who touts the use of condoms, ends up championing a new kind of slavery.
But the most dangerous form of neo-colonialism is to smuggle in the pan-sexual revolution under the cover of the fight against AIDS. Given its paucity of ideals, only two things are left: the sexual revolution’s focus on autonomy and narcissism and AIDS treatment.
For years the United Nations and the European Union have been promoting “International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights”, suggesting that unless every nation changes its laws on sexuality AIDS cannot be defeated.
These “International Guidelines” call for total sexual freedom and for the review with the aim of repeal of certain laws on “sexual acts (including adultery, sodomy, fornication and commercial sexual encounters) between consenting adults in private,” including with minors (pedophilia).
In doing so these guidelines end up maintaining the types of behaviour that cause the spread of AIDS, whilst insisting that every nation provide medicines and treatment.
They would also entail the international legalisation of gay marriage and abortion on demand whilst suggesting that contraceptive, condoms and anti-AIDS treatment be made available to everyone, including minors involved in the sex trade (cf International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights).
Actually promoting the use of condoms in the worldwide fight against AIDS would mean fighting on behalf of this ideology.