By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Pope Benedict XVI is under attack by the mainstream media and the global HIV/AIDS industry for comments he made en route to Cameroon on Tuesday about how the distribution of condoms only aggravates the epidemic. However, experts on the subject say the Pope is correct and that “profiteering” by AIDS organizations is trumping proven prevention strategies such as abstinence.
The furor erupted over an answer given by the Pope to a question by a French reporter about the Church’s stance against the use of condoms in the battle against HIV/AIDS. The Pope said the “the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem.”
The worldwide multi-billion dollar condom industry and their political allies responded by launching a full-scale attack on the pope and the Catholic Church.
Lisa Power of Britain’s homosexualist activist group the Terrence Higgins Trust told the Telegraph: “We deeply regret the continued misinformation around condoms, which remain the most effective way of preventing the spread of HIV. Both abstinence and condoms are valid weapons in the fight against HIV, but unfortunately abstinence has a far higher failure rate.”
Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, told the Guardian that the Pope’s “opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”
Even the anti-Catholic Spanish government jumped into the fray by announcing plans to ship a million condoms to Africa. Meanwhile, the country’s health ministry issued a statement saying: “Condoms have been demonstrated to be a necessary element in prevention policies and an efficient barrier against the virus.”
However, experts say the facts don’t support this argument.
Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, says the evidence confirms that the Pope is correct in his assessment that condom distribution exacerbates the problem of AIDS.
“The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments.”
“There is a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”
There is also an abundance of evidence from people working on the ground in Africa. Martin Ssempa, a key player in Uganda’s highly successful abstinence and faithfulness anti-AIDS programms, told LifeSiteNews.com that “Condoms have not reduced HIV-AIDS anywhere in the world … Higher condoms [rates] across Africa have resulted in higher HIV.”
Ssempa says condom promoting international organisations such as UNAIDS are “demonizing the Catholic Church unfairly.”
“In fact,” he said, “in countries where the Catholic Church is strong, there is lower HIV than places where the Catholic Church is not.”
Ssempa claims that the hostility of the international AIDS organizations toward the Catholic Church is matched only by their hatred of traditional Christian sexual morality.
And judging by the profits these organizations are making on the promotion of condoms, they have good reason to abhor the teaching of abstinence as a solution to the problem.
In 2008, Sam L. Ruteikara, the co-chair of Uganda’s AIDS-prevention Committee wrote in the Washington Post that in the fight against AIDS, “profiteering has trumped prevention.”
“AIDS is no longer simply a disease,” he said, “it has become a multibillion-dollar industry … Meanwhile, effective HIV prevention methods, such as urging Africans to stick to one partner, don’t qualify for lucrative universal-access status.”
Rutkara said, “Our wisdom about our own culture is ignored. Telling men and women to keep sex sacred – to save sex for marriage and then remain faithful – is telling them to love one another deeply with their whole hearts. Most HIV infections in Africa are spread by sex outside of marriage: casual sex and infidelity. The solution is faithful love.”
Franciscan Father Maurizio Faggioni agrees and says the pope was in part responding to the grave cultural threat to Africa posed by the condom philosophy and the international population control movement that promotes it. Faggioni, who has advised the Vatican on sexual morality issues, told Catholic News Service that the pope sees condom campaigns as a question of “cultural violence,” especially in Africa, where there has never been a “contraceptive mentality.”
This opinion is supported by local African AIDS activists who regularly complain that AIDS sufferers in their countries are being used in a massive international campaign both to reduce African populations and undermine traditional African family values.
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