Telegraph.uk.co’s website reporter Nick Squires on 23 March reported “Condom campaigners protest at the Vatican against Pope’s Aids comments“. The protests were spawned by remarks the Pope made earlier that condoms were not the answer to Africa’s fight against HIV.
“The Pope’s extremely serious and irresponsible words are even further removed from reality when we consider that condoms are unanimously and scientifically recognised as the principal means of Aids prevention,” said gay rights campaigner Mario Mieli.
So, how far removed from reality are his remarks? What makes them the “principal means” to prevent AIDS?
The CDC says in “Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases” (emphasis added):
Consistent and correct use of male latex condoms can reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of STD transmission. To achieve the maximum protective effect, condoms must be used both consistently and correctly. Inconsistent use can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse with an infected partner. Similarly, if condoms are not used correctly, the protective effect may be diminished even when they are used consistently. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
The FDA says in “Condom Brochure” (emphasis added):
The surest way to avoid these diseases is to not have sex altogether (abstinence). Another way is to limit sex to one partner who also limits his or her sex in the same way (monogamy). Condoms are not 100% safe, but if used properly, will reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Protecting yourself against the AIDS virus is of special concern becuase [sic] this disease is fatal and has no cure.
Further down, the FDA says, “In other words, sex with condoms isn’t totally “safe sex,” but it is “less risky” sex.” It then states, “The package should say that the condoms are to prevent disease [emphasis theirs]. If the package doesn’t say anything about preventing disease, the condoms may not provide the protection you want, even though they may be the most expensive ones you can buy.” There also can be problems if they have been improperly stored and subjected to extreme temperatures.
So, let’s review: If the type is the correct condom, and if they were stored properly, and if they are used correctly, and if they are used consistently, then they might prevent STDs. So, are the Pope’s remarks so off-based given this?
Oh, and although condoms have been found to provide “protection” against HPV, the study still found that they were 70% less likely to contract HPV! “Exactly how some women acquired HPV if their partners always used condoms remains unknown. In fact, all of those in this particular group also reported no genital contact without a condom.” HPV has been linked to cervical cancer and sterility. A 70% reduction still means 30% still contract it! That’s “prevention”?!
If that’s the definition of “prevention”, I wonder what the definition of “scientifically recognized prevention” might mean.
God’s way of life is often viewed as stifling, but it is really intended to provide for the maximum amount of joy. A life of suffering from incurable STDs is not what God intended. Instead, He designed sex to be enjoyed within the confines of monogamous marriage, in a non-threatening (physically, emotionally and spiritually) environment of love. Does that sound stifling to you? Or, is it stifling to be taking expensive drugs to ward off various diseases that a tired immune system can no longer cope with?