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Condoms aggravate AIDS pandemic in Africa

Madrid, Spain

Editor,

Edward Green, one of the scientists dedicated to the analysis of AIDS and head of prevention of this disease at Harvard University, said that condoms would “aggravate the problem” in Africa.

He evoked that when Aids pandemic pounced on the African continent, the “condom industry” began to use the contagion to make a maneuver of marketing and get more subsidies for the production and delivery of condoms. The business of death had come.

The World Health Organization claims that “Condom reduces, but does not eliminate the risk of contracting AIDS. Only abstinence and fidelity between sexual uninfected partners assure it”. Countries with the most number of condoms have had the greatest number of AIDS infections.

Clement Ferrer

Independent Forum of Opinion                               

Comments

Gee, that sounds very familiar. It is fascinating to know that now WHO endorses the long standing teaching of the Holy Catholic Church on the issue. Go, the Vatican!

Organisations are only as good as the people in them. WHO and the more enlightened who have been involved in HIV and STI education, care and prevention efforts have always endorsed abstinence and fidelity as the most effective means of prevention. The churches have been promoting fidelity and abstinence for centuries. The priority when HIV and AIDS emerged in the world, was to spread the knowledge about the major means of prevention, Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condom use, often referred to as the ABC of AIDS prevention. According to scientific evidence available at that time, Condoms IF USED PROPERLY was an effective means of preventing infection. Because of business interests and the media coverage on AIDS concentrating on religion, tradition, culture and condoms, a lot of aid money was spent on buying and distributing condoms, rather than focusing on the priorities of people.

Much has been learnt over the many years of working on caring for people living with AIDS and preventing new cases of infection of HIV, the virus which can lead to AIDS. A D option - Do Other Stuff has been added to stimulate discussions … but that’s another movie. Those working on the prevention of NCDs (Non Communicable Diseases) would do well to heed the many lessons learnt from AIDS prevention in their work on preventing NCDs.

One of the most important is the need to work in partnerships to improve the quality of life of the groups most at risk. These include uneducated, dependent women, children and youth, those who have become addicted to alcohol and drugs and people living in poverty trying to meet their daily basic human needs in order to survive. These basic human needs, which many consider to be the basic human rights of all God’s children on Planet Earth, are food, shelter, clean running water, access to education and health care and above all, the right to live in dignity. How can anyone even begin to think of AIDS prevention if these basic needs are not being met?

The involvement and support of leaders is another important ingredient for success. This requires leaders at all levels to learn how everything is connected to the spread of HIV and AIDS (eg. gender inequalities, education for young women, dangerous traditions, example set by leaders), to have the humility to acknowledge that they don’t know everything and to LISTEN more closely to the needs of the people whose lives you are trying to improve.

At the global level, the findings of Edward Green and the Vatican provides an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between the Catholic Church/Christian churches and the scientific community to work together to improve the quality of life of ALL God’s children, especially those most at risk. Edward Green’s conclusion also highlights the need for ongoing research to be conducted to monitor progress, identify problems and provide evidence in a more timely manner.

At the national level, this might be a good subject for discussion between the Ministry of Education, the Tonga-based USP Institute of Education and the Tonga National Forum of Church Leaders. The Tonga National Forum of Church Leaders is already working with WHO and the Ministry of Health on NCDs.

who is Clement Ferrer ? He is President of the European Institute of Marketing. That letter is a part on an international marketing campaign ( see for instance "The Pakistan Christian Post" or "The New Times Rwanda".
Here is a true copy of what WHO is saying about protection :

"Prevention

Individuals can reduce the risk of HIV infection by limiting exposure to risk factors. Key approaches for HIV prevention, which are often used in combination, include:

1. Male and female condom use
Correct and consistent use of male and female condoms during vaginal or anal penetration can protect against the spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Evidence shows that male latex condoms have an 85% or greater protective effect against the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

2. Testing and counselling for HIV and STIs
Testing for HIV and other STIs is strongly advised for all people exposed to any of the risk factors so that they can learn of their own infection status and access necessary prevention and treatment services without delay. WHO also recommends offering testing for partners or couples.

3. Voluntary medical male circumcision
Medical male circumcision, when safely provided by well-trained health professionals, reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. This is a key intervention in generalized epidemic settings with high HIV prevalence and low male circumcision rates...."

from : http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/index.html