Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Pope Says Condoms Make AIDS Problem Worse. Rick Warren Partially Disagrees.

posted by swaldman

AIDS, Pope Benedict XVI told reporters, “is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.”
It’s an interesting contrast with Rick Warren’s approach. The Saddleback website explains, “We can’t prevent many other diseases that plague mankind, but we know how abstinence, monogamy, and condoms can go a long way toward stopping HIV in its tracks.”
While agreeing that stopping AIDS requires abstinence, they nonetheless urge condom use too and created a handy acronym, S.L.O.W. for how to halt the spread of AIDS, the “S” being “Supply condoms and eventually microbicides for everyone.” (The others: Limit the number of partners. Offer needle exchange. Wait for sexual debut.)
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Warren has said that while “I’m not going to give a condom to a kid” he does support distributing condoms to prostitutes in Africa and India in part because, “I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ,” he told WorldNet. “If they’re dead, it’s too late. The good news is only good news if it gets there in time.”



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pagansister

posted March 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm


Right, condoms makes AIDs WORSE?? What planet does Benny live on, as it certainly isn’t this one!! He honestly thinks that folks are going to just stop having sex (thus passing Aids on in some cases) just because it isn’t right without marriage etc.? Statements like that are just plain irresponsible, IMO. This whole world ISN’T Catholic….which is incredibly fortunate.
Warren is helpful too…he’s willing to give condoms to prostitutes in Africa and India so he can convert them? What a guy! :0(
Won’t give them to a “kid”. Golly. that kid might actually NOT get or give Aids to someone if he/she had one.
I’m for sex ed, with all the information including the value of abstinence. But folks aren’t going to stop having sex, including the kids. Condoms prevent STD’s and Aids.



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panthera

posted March 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm


pagansister,
I fear the explanation is so simple, you are overlooking it. The Pope and many conservative Christians actually enjoy seeing millions upon millions of gays, Negros and others who don’t fit their narrow definition of “menschenwürdiges Leben” die.
It gives them great pleasure and a sense of vindication.
There is nothing to be done with such people except to increase our efforts to protect the victims of Hiv.
We have seen very clearly in Utah how conservative Christians are full of hatred and spite towards gays, I have no evidence that they feel one bit less towards women who are raped and thus infected. As for the children orphaned and, most often, themselves infected, well, that is just fine for the Pope and the fundamentalist Christians…the more of them die, the better. Too many dark-skinned people in this world, anyway and any woman who is raped was asking for it, after all.



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Charles Cosimano

posted March 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm


As the influence of the Papacy sinks into an unrecognizable and insignificant puddle…



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pagansister

posted March 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm


panthera, I wish I could think you’re wrong, but there is a lot more than a grain of truth in your observations. The whole situation regarding Benny and friends is just…I don’t know…unreal. I don’t care what religion someone is, just don’t come out with totally irresponsible statements that influence so many folks. It makes me livid!
BTW, what does “menschenwurdiges Leben” mean? I’m not blessed with the knowledge of more than one language! :o)
And I agree with your last sentence, there are too many folks who feel that way.



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panthera

posted March 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm


Oh, sorry, I don’t think in either German or English, but that particular phrase has no close equivalent in any other European language.
Menschenunwürdiges Leben was the term the National Socialists used for Jews, gays, Roma, women past child-bearing age, the mentally defective, physically handicapped, people with dark skin, etc.
It is pretty much the basest insult available in any of the languages I know and very much characterizes precisely the attitude of the conservative Christians towards us. Their hatred and spite are strait out of the National Socialist playbook.
The roots: der Mensch, n. A human, in Yiddish and OE it means a ‘good person’, a meaning which still survives in modern English.
‘un’, this prefix has a similar connotation as in English, that is either ‘contra-positive’ or simply ‘not’, like “the un-cola, 7-up”.
Die Würde, n., honor or fittingness (no, that definition is not in the dictionary but is the modern referent in English), used as an adjective in this term, that is, valuable or fitting life.
Das Leben, n. Simply means “life”.
One of the best expresions in German, by the by is: Die Menschenwürde ist unantastbar. Which means, a person’s value may never be harmed or questioned. Germany today is in the vanguard of human rights, even by European standards.
I do apologize for the term, still a bit jet-lagged.



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pagansister

posted March 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm


Thank you, panthera, for explaining the term you used. No apology needed, it expressed what you needed to say. I just couldn’t “translate”.
Take Care.



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Tom

posted March 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm


Panthera, as a conservative Christian I have no animosity towards LGBTs in general. However, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a charitable attitude towards LGBTs who make unsubstantiated claims and ascribe alterior motives and bigot labels to everyone who isn’t aligned with their way of thinking. If some people aren’t already predisposed to dislike LGBTs, then they’re much more likely to do so after reading or listening to you.



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Ray

posted March 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm


Whilst the abstinance theory is great, how is it going to be enforced? I would have thought that when you get to a point when you have no money, no real home, you live in such depravity it doesn’t bear thinking about the last thing you need is another mouth to feed, but time and again I’m proved wrong. So if only for that reason alone, I would think that distribution of condoms is a good thing. Another thing is that these people live in an area where, until recently, no that many people knew or cared so much about the situation, what’s worse those in authority there forced them into this situation by mis-management of the countries resources and prolonging , what seems pretty ridiculous to me, some feud between tribes that’s gone on for centuries – probably over stolen goat three centuries ago. Well, that’s my rant over. I’m not even going anywhere near the saving them for Jesus comment!



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panthera

posted March 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm


Tom, please watch this interview withe State senator Buttars from Utah.
Once a week, a gay or transgendered person is murdered/beaten/raped in the USA directly because they are gay.
I have limited vision and all my front teeth are now implants because my fundamentalist Christian brother and his family attacked my husband and me.
A few years ago, my parents were both in a horrible car accident. i flew over to the US immediately, only to find that my brother had told the hospital not to let me see my parents. A Catholic hospital, they followed his wishes. I had to go to court (and win) to see my gravely ill parents. When the doctors wanted to type us for two kidney donations, my brother actually lied (that is false witness, a sin in the Bible) that I had Aids (I am Hiv-). Had my father not pulled through, he would have died because of that.
Shall I go on?
Yes, I am furious with conservative Christians. I have clear reason to be.



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eric

posted March 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm


This Pope also thinks the 9 year old child who was raped and impregnated by her stepfather should have the baby; the pontiff has warned the mother of the pregnant child, who is Catholic, against aborting the baby, even though physicians believe the child will suffer permanent medical problems if she carries the baby to term.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm


Happy Feast of St. Patrick! I’m taking off my Catholic Hat and putting on my Microbiologist hat for a few moments. We’ll only use Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data and common sense to see where the Pope’s position takes us. The following link is to a CDC page that gives efficacy rates for the various contraceptives.
http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/UnintendedPregnancy/Contraception.htm
From this page:
“Male condoms are 85–98% effective at preventing pregnancy.”
Given that range, let’s take the average efficiency-91.5% and use that with the extreme ends of the CDC efficacy, 85% and 98%. We’ll consider condom failure rates of 15%, 8.5%, and 2%.
As of 2007, there were 22,000,000 men, women, and children in sub-Saharan Africa with HIV/AIDS. 1,800,000 of these are children, age 15 and under. This leaves us with 20,200,000 adults with HIV/AIDS.
Many may be too ill to have sex. So, let’s be very liberal and assume that in a given year 25% of HIV+ Africans have no sex at all. That leaves 15,000,000 who are sexually active. If every one of those 15,000,000 had sex ONCE A YEAR and used a condom, then the number of condom failure events in HIV+ Africans would be as follows:
@2% Failure Rate: 15,000,000 x .02 = 300,000 Condom Failures
@8.5% Failure Rate: 15,000,000 x .085 = 1,275,000 Condom Failures
@15% Failure Rate: 15,000,000 x .15 = 2,250,000 Condom Failures
Now let’s assume that each of those people has sex ONCE PER MONTH, using a condom every time. The number of failure events at each % Failure rate above is multiplied by twelve.
@2% Failure Rate: 300,000 x12 = 3,600,000 Condom Failures
@8.5% Failure Rate: 1,275,000 x 12 = 15,300,000 Condom Failures
@15% Failure Rate: 2,250,000 x 12 = 27,000,000 Condom Failures
Any volunteers to be on the receiving end of just one of those failures?
Thus, using CDC’s own numbers, eliminating ¼ of all HIV+ Africans from sexual activity and doing the math, the number of condom failure events in which virus may be transmitted is staggering. To be certain, male to female and female to male transmission rates vary. So does the viral load in seminal and vaginal secretions, based on where the patient is in the infectious process. Offsetting some of those factors are the high Sexually Transmitted Infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa that produce ulcerations which act as portals of entry for viruses that may exist in low titers.
This little experiment produced absurdly LOW numbers. It would not be unreasonable to expect the number of sex acts per person to be much higher than once per month. It is likely that more than ¾ of HIV+ Africans have sex in a given year.
As a Microbiologist, of course I see that condoms slow the transmission rate for HIV in a given sex act. But in the aggregate, I question whether the sense of security leads to far more sex acts, which multiplies the chances for a failure event.
CDC has the following fact sheet on male latex condoms:
“Condoms and STDs: Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel”
http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm
From the Fact Sheet Introductory Paragraph:
“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 final half of the paragraph sounds somewhat like it could have been written by the Pope:
“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.”
Catholics would call that abstinence before, and fidelity during marriage.



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panthera

posted March 18, 2009 at 4:41 am


Oh, sorry, I don’t think in either German or English, but that particular phrase has no close equivalent in any other European language.
Menschenunwürdiges Leben was the term the National Socialists used for Jews, gays, Roma, women past child-bearing age, the mentally defective, physically handicapped, people with dark skin, etc.
It is pretty much the basest insult available in any of the languages I know and very much characterizes precisely the attitude of the conservative Christians towards us. Their hatred and spite are strait out of the National Socialist playbook.
The roots: der Mensch, n. A human, in Yiddish and OE it means a ‘good person’, a meaning which still survives in modern English.
‘un’, this prefix has a similar connotation as in English, that is either ‘contra-positive’ or simply ‘not’, like “the un-cola, 7-up”.
Die Würde, n., honor or fittingness (no, that definition is not in the dictionary but is the modern referent in English), used as an adjective in this term, that is, valuable or fitting life.
Das Leben, n. Simply means “life”.
One of the best expresions in German, by the by is: Die Menschenwürde ist unantastbar. Which means, a person’s value may never be harmed or questioned. Germany today is in the vanguard of human rights, even by European standards.
I do apologize for the term, still a bit jet-lagged.



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panthera

posted March 18, 2009 at 4:43 am


Ah, the gotchas attack again. Sorry about the wrong posting. this interface is beyond bad.
Gerarad,
Your numbers, allowing for your assumptions, are impeachable.
Four aspects of the problem, are, however, not taken into consideration.
First, the failure data does not take into consideration the difference between men who have been circumcised and men men have have not been circumcised. There is no dispute among scientists now that uncircumcised men have an enormously higher infection risk. This link is typical, there are detailed and sadly similar conclusions both from Merck and the University of Chicago I can provide if you like:
http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma?f=102199733.html
There are a number of reasons for the condom being less than perfect in preventing pregnancy, but I find no data suggesting any other method which so enormously sinks the transmission rate among uncircumcised men.
Second, there is reliable data to indicate that the rate of pregnancy despite condom use has very little correlation to the condom itself actually failing to provide an adequate barrier, rather to failure by the man to use the condom properly. Setting aside the old joke about turning it inside out to use it again, exacting studies have shown over time that most failure is caused either by the couple not practicing rigid segregation of any penile fluid from the woman’s pubic area (those beasties are motile) both before and after intercourse as well as the all to frequent belief among men that ‘pre-cum’ doesn’t make babies. The pre-first-ejaculation sperm content may indeed be statistically too low for reliable pregnancy, but for a very long period after the first ejaculation, their rate increases in all these fluids substantially.
Third, it is not quite true that ever single incidence of unprotected sexual intercourse (anal or vaginal) leads to infection. One of the greatest sins committed by conservative Christians in the 1980′s was to pretend that the risk to heterosexual women was lowest and to gay men highest, but the scientific data place the risk of one unprotected act at between 25 and 50%. Now, that is so very high that it is obvious it doesn’t take long for someone to contract the disease within a group of sexually active people and we both know that fun old word that begins with 1+1=2, 2*2=4, 4*4=16, 16*16=256….
Still, your risk is calculated on an infection rate approaching 1. Not correct. (And before any young person here thinks my math shows that unsafe sex is really ok, please consider that these are worse odds than Russian Roulette and what sane person would play that?)
Fourth and foremost: Respect for women. No, nothing can be done to stop people from having sex. As one of the less delightful commentators here so frequently said, heterosexuals can’t help but procreate, they are made that way. But when you create a culture among men which advocates treating women as more than just sperm receptacles but as actual humans, then you begin to break the chain of infection. Lots of studies on that one, they all show that in cultures in which women are empowered to have protected sex, the infection rate falls drastically.
I had the opportunity to listen to a conversation with the Pope’s older brother a few years ago when he was created Bishop of Rome. His brother, who is of equal intelligence but vastly different character (he’s literally the old-fashioned cares more about his parishioners than any particular fashion out of Rome type) said his brother was lacking in an essential characteristic to be a good pope. He lacked the common touch. To him, all could be resolved through logic.
That, I think, sums it up very well.
Anyway, feel free to ask for any sources you like, sadly, I can provide them.



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Karen Brown

posted March 18, 2009 at 9:13 am


Since the majority of condom failure seems to be due to user error, to use the failure rate and then distribute it among all condom users or any given sex act is similar to, say… (Numbers are made up for this example)
On any given day, there are a billion cars on the road. On the average day, there are 100,000 incidents of drunk driving. Therefore, the cars with a drunk driver is 1 in 10,000. Therefore, the chance that YOU will be picked up drunk driving is 1 in 10,000.. You can be a teetotaler, and you will still have the same chance of drunk driving as someone who goes to the bars every night of the week.
Assuming that the chance to achieve a result that is behavior based (condom failure seeming to mostly be the result of user error) is equally distributed among all people in a category (all people who use condoms, even those who use them correctly) is equally unreasonable.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 18, 2009 at 9:30 am


Good Morning Panthera,
I hope you had a good Saint Patrick’s Day.
Relative to your post to Tom, your brother and his ilk are in for a rude awakening on Judgment Day.
Allow me to address the excellent points you raise in regard to my analysis. I’ve taken those into consideration, but perhaps was not so explicit for fear of becoming too long and detailed. You say:
“Second, there is reliable data to indicate that the rate of pregnancy despite condom use has very little correlation to the condom itself actually failing to provide an adequate barrier, rather to failure by the man to use the condom properly.”
Yes, this is true. And sadly, that’s the point. Whether or not condom use is inconsistent or it is incorrect, it leads to failure. Several of my colleagues have spent a good amount of time working throughout Africa. Part of the problem is the ignorance and superstition which flow as consequences of the poverty and instability that keep children from receiving a solid education. Condoms are viewed, especially in rural areas, with a mixture of suspicion and magic. We don’t realize how much we take for granted here in the West relative to our understanding of biology, even at a high school level. It is pretty difficult to convey to the illiterate the concept of a virus.
I agree with you that the intact barrier of the condom is highly preventative. The devil, though, is in the details. Viewed as part magic by far too many, the incorrect usage comes in. The difficulty is that the condom lowers the barrier of fear and avoidance, facilitating sex. The incorrect use of the condom during sex then sets up the disease.
As for the actual transmission rates during sex, yes, I did not get into the numbers and reasons for fear of too many numbers in an already number-laden text. Also, I fear younger readers not fully understanding and oversimplifying those data. The transmission rates hold best in a population with very low genital ulcerative disease. Such is not the case in Africa. Chancroid, Syphilis, Herpes, and Gonorrhea are rampant. ANY inconsistent or incorrect use of condoms there is an invitation to HIV infection, rendering the differences in male:male, male:female, female:male transmission rates moot.
Your fourth point:Respect for women. Yes. I’m familiar with those data on falling rates where women are empowered to have protected sex. The microbiologist in me says, “way to go!” Any reduction is a great thing. The Catholic that is me says, “Good. However….”
The’ Howevers’ are: Falling rates, while obviously good, are not good enough. Cardinal O’Connor once observed that good morality is good medicine. If everyone were to practice abstinence before and fidelity during marriage, STD’s would be gone in a generation. The CDC’s fact sheet on the male latex condom that I quote above says as much. Of course, when O’Connor said it 25 years ago, he was ridiculed as a cave man.
Another ‘However’, is that we don’t believe that condoms prevent disregard for women. Quite the opposite. Removing the physically consequential aspects of sex in the form of pregnancy and STD’s has encouraged men to seek greater involvement with greater numbers of women. It actually makes them targets for unbridled lust.
I’ve not read the Pope’s exact words on this topic of condoms and HIV. If anything, it may have been a poor choice of words. While condoms will lower the infection rate in an endemic area over the short term, the failure rate multiplied by those emboldened to seek sex with condoms does indeed contribute to the ongoing transmission over the long term. This especially when contrasted with Uganda’s very successful dramatic decline in HIV transmission through stressing abstinence and a return to traditional values.
Please do send along whatever data you have. There’s no such thing as too much good data.
I know that this raises your blood pressure because of how unjustly and uncharitably you have been treated by those who claim to be disciples of Jesus. Believe me Panthera, they will be bewildered on the Last Day to see so many gays going to Heaven while they head south. We’re not all homophobes. Not even close.
God Bless.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 18, 2009 at 9:46 am


Karen,
If one considers the numbers in my first post, they are of people who have already contracted HIV. In your example, they are the drunk drivers. These are the people who have either not used condoms, or used them inappropriately. So, they are an EXTREMELY HIGH RISK CATEGORY for future condom failure.
The condom failure data from CDC are for the entire population. Those with HIV fall into the category of inconsistent and incorrect condom users (absent those who contracted the disease vertically or through transfusion). Therefore, the failure rate in this population in Africa is probably much higher than the population at large. The failure rate in this group probably approaches 50%.



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pagansister

posted March 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm


Not being a professional on the subject of mis-use or proper use of condoms…I feel that if a condom prevents at least 1 spread of Aids, it has done it’s job.
A mention sort of connected with this. As many of you know, I spent 10 years teaching in a Catholic elementary school. (5 year olds). I was suprised and pleased to find out that the middle school kids were being taught the “facts of life” AND were being taught that, of course, abstinence was the best path to take until marriage, per Catholic teachings. However, I was even more pleased to learn they were being taught about STD’s, Aids, etc. AND about condoms. Yes, this was and is a Catholic school. I’m assuming the pill, IUD’s, and other forms were mentioned..but don’t know. The science teacher was a friend of mine, so I knew about the condom lessons. Guess Benny wouldn’t have been pleased. Oh well.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm


==folks aren’t going to stop having sex, including the kids.==
What a message to give kids: “You shouldn’t, but you will.” No wonder kids are confused and turn into confused “adults,” like the author of that message.
== Condoms prevent STD’s and Aids. ==
But they don’t protect the Morals. Men will feel free to lookit women as objects. Well, if that’s what women want…



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm


The use of condoms makes it EASIER for men to treat women as objects and without consequence, except that they are unaware of the consequence to the Morals.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm


==Menschenunwürdiges Leben was the term the National Socialists used for Jews, gays, Roma, women past child-bearing age, the mentally defective, physically handicapped, people with dark skin, etc.==
And, now, it is a term YOU would use on opponents of your agenda to impose standards of homosexuality on the rest of us. Nice. Real nice.



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Husband

posted March 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm


Dear Tom,
Please allow me to attempt to allay some of your fears …
“as a conservative Christian I have no animosity towards LGBTs in general.
1. I’m very glad you personally have no animosity toward LGBTs. The trouble is, many people who call themselves Christians (conservative or otherwise) do not feel so ‘charitable’. It is to those people our concerns are addressed.
“However, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a charitable attitude towards LGBTs who make unsubstantiated claims and ascribe alterior motives and bigot labels to everyone who isn’t aligned with their way of thinking.”
2. I cannot presume to speak for those people who do that, but let me assure you that I, personally, do not make/have not made any “unsubstantiated claims”. Most of what I type/post/blog contains actual copied & pasted quotes, ergo, they are substantiated. Also, I reserve the “bigot” label for those who call our relationships the equivalent of “marrying a plant” (or a “bicycle”, a “rock”, an “animal”, a “child”, a “corpse”, etc.) ALL of which can readily and repeatedly be found right here on Beliefnet. I also use it when referring to people who do not want GLBT citizens to be treated equally before the law, for such is the nature of bigotry.
“If some people aren’t already predisposed to dislike LGBTs, then they’re much more likely to do so after reading or listening to you.”
3. I’ve just re-read everything Panthera has posted here and found nothing that would pre-dispose anyone to want to treat LGBT citizens unequally, let alone “dislike” us. Perhaps that is your pre-disposition.



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Husband

posted March 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm


Gerard,
Your post of March 17, 2009 11:41 PM only addresses the failure rate of condoms. It ignores utterly the 100% failure rate of preventing the transmission of STDs by the non-use of condoms.
Also, if one is interested in reducing or eliminating the termination of unwanted pregnancies, then the surest way to do that – apart from abstinence* – is contraceptive use. Their non-use also has a 100% failure rate in reducing unwanted pregnancies.
* Your post also ignores the following reality: People. Will. Not. Abstain. I know you (and the not-credible Mr. Incredible) want very much for them to do so, but as I said, we are dealinng with reality. You only wish to address a (religious) ideal, one to which not even all “religious” adhere, nevermind the populace at large.



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Your Name

posted March 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm


MI (as in ‘Mission Impossible’):
==folks aren’t going to stop having sex, including the kids.==
“What a message to give kids: “You shouldn’t, but you will.”
That’s a realistic message. Ya know why? Because, they WILL.
Like I said above, we deal with reality.
== Condoms prevent STD’s and Aids. ==
“But they don’t protect the Morals.”
Like the pope does? Pretty ineffective if you ask me.
“Men will feel free to lookit women as objects.”
Again, men (the str8 ones, anyway) already do that. Or didntcha know?
“Well, if that’s what women want…”
Now there’s a leap in logic. No wonder you’re not credible.



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Karen Brown.

posted March 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm


Nope. The people in my example who are drunk drivers are people who experience condom failure, period. Whether the result is nothing, is pregnancy, or disease.
So, if one is incorporating people into the group who aren’t even attempting the behavior, that isn’t failure, that isn’t even trying.
The Pope did not distinguish at all. If I use a seatbelt half the time, I’m in the car and go through the windshield during a time I didn’t use the seatbelt, the seatbelt didn’t ‘fail’. It wasn’t used.
In order to ‘fail’, one would have to at least be thinking one is using the item in question, even if it is incorrectly. High levels of incorrect use can indicate that either more education is needed, or the item is too complicated or difficult for people.
But people simply NOT using them does not indicate they are failing, and if that is included in the numbers, the numbers are conveying a very false impression.



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Mike

posted March 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm


JUST DOING IT!
I honored Rev. rick warren. He is a God’s man!



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 18, 2009 at 9:21 pm


==/==folks aren’t going to stop having sex, including the kids.==
“What a message to give kids: “You shouldn’t, but you will.”
That’s a realistic message. Ya know why? Because, they WILL.==
And, so they will.
==Like I said above [sic], we deal with reality.==
And, because you give them permission, they will DO the reality.
== Condoms prevent STD’s and Aids. ==
“But they don’t protect the Morals.”
Like the pope does? Pretty ineffective if you ask me.==
The Pope can’t help it if people don’t listen, and, when people don’t listen to sound advice, they do stupid things. Then, the people who do stupid things because they didn’t listen must bear the consequences. In this case, the consequences being corruption of the Morals.
==”Men will feel free to lookit women as objects.”
Again, men (the str8 ones, anyway) already do that. Or didntcha know?==
Oh, that’s right. We learned that in the 90s. “Everybody does it!”
In other words, that excuse worked when you told your parents that, and, after all, “Why shouldn’t it work now?” We see.
==”Well, if that’s what women want…”



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Husband

posted March 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm


Karen Brown,
You actually make my point. I was talking about non-use, just like your seatbelt example. Trouble is, the pope won’t let people use this life-saving device. He doesn’t want them to “try”. You just don’t get it. And neither does he. The lack of using condoms will always fail 100%, something the ‘failure rate of condoms’ that Gerard spoke of doesn’t begin to address.
Like I said, thanx 4 making my point.
And one last reality check for the non-credible one …
“because you give them permission, they will DO the reality”
MI, they don’t need or seek my ‘permission’. They’re ‘doing it’ already, and if a figure as ‘mighty’ as the pope can’t stop them, my ‘permission’ simply isn’t a factor.
“when people don’t listen to sound advice, they do stupid things”
The only “stupid thing” is having unprotected sex. The fact that the pope doesn’t want them to be protected seems moot to you. Ergo, DIS-MISSED!



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Karen Brown

posted March 19, 2009 at 12:32 am


Then it is likely our points are the same. Though I stuck mainly with the source and distribution of those statistics, which seemed a little dicey to me. I may not be a biologist, but I did take statistics and logic.
I do get that the Pope doesn’t want people to ‘try’. He is against condoms, and given it is due to theology, it wouldn’t really matter if they were 100 percent effective, the pope views them as immoral.
Which always puzzled me anyway. I mean, if one is not Catholic, and engaging in non-marital sex, does it really make that much of a difference morally if they happen to be using condoms while doing so? They’re already going to be getting it for fornication and not being Catholic. Does it send them to a lower circle of hell if they add condoms to that mix?
Seems to me, if the Pope were to work on conversion, which is more his job, then once they were Catholic, and it became a matter of dogma, he wouldn’t have to try and use a medical argument for what is, in the end, a religious matter for him.
As for effectiveness, Gerald acknowledges that the failure rate (even adding in people who never used them at all, which I disagree with) is very low. To tell people not to use them is like those people who bring up the rare anecdote of the people in car wrecks with seat belts who died.
The fact is, a properly used condom that is USED is extraordiarily effective. And the Pope can’t deny that without pretty much attacking the efficacy of most surgical protections against disease, since most of them rely on the same method, a barrier involving a thin layer of latex. Whether its a condom or the glove that your surgeon puts on before operating, the principle is the same.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 19, 2009 at 12:43 am


Husband,
You miss the Pope’s point. It is slanderous to say that he wants people having unprotected sex. He teaches that God wants people to abstain before marriage and to be faithful during marriage. Anything beyond that is fornication. You play, you pay. It isn’t his job to stand in St. Peter’s Basilica and demonstrate how to roll a condom over a cucumber.
It isn’t as though there’s a potential run on the condom aisle at CVS ready to happen, lines around the block waiting for Benedict to shout “GO!!” Those who care enough about his instruction on condoms will also follow his instructions on abstinence and fidelity. Those who don’t, won’t-on either count.
All of this braying about Benedict makes his detractors look pretty foolish. If people are going to fornicate, the Pope is powerless to stop them. The same goes for condom use. Do you conform your sexual behavior to Catholic teaching? Why? See what I mean?!



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Karen Brown

posted March 19, 2009 at 12:55 am


It isn’t the Pope’s teaching on moral matters that is bothering people. If he told people simply ‘condoms are a sin’, which is hardly news, then this wouldn’t have made a blip.
It is when they (because this had already been done by at least one Archbishop previously) begin to delve into the realm of science, statistics, etc, and making statements to those he knows do not agree with his stance on sin that are masking themselves as scientific pronoucements, then that is something you do not have to be a practicing Catholic to disagree with.
If a Guru says, ‘Doing this is a sin’, then you only worry if you follow that Guru.
If a Guru says, “Studies have noted that the mesh of a condom is not able to provide a barrier to viruses”, then you do not have to follow the Guru to disagree with that.
BTW, that statement, it is a paraphrase of a statement by Cardinal Trujillo, who stated, “The AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon,” Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, told the BBC’s Panorama programme in 2003. “The spermatozoon can easily pass through the ‘net’ that is formed by the condom.”
What he doesn’t realize is, the same principle that makes a condom effective is the same one that is used for most of the hygiene protocols used by doctors.
If the virus will pass through the ‘net’ formed by a condom, it would pass through a surgical glove, through the latex used in most of the protective gear used by doctors. And that isn’t a matter of morals and dogma, that is just a plain false statement intended to /scare/ people from using condoms.
Like that statement, this one isn’t about fornication and sin, this is about statements that are claimed to be fact that certainly are fair game to challenge, where his religious authority has absolutely no bearing. (Papal infallibility doesn’t extend to statistics.)



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 19, 2009 at 1:27 am


Karen,
“(Papal infallibility doesn’t extend to statistics.)”
True enough. But as Mark Twain said of statistics, “There are lies. There are damned lies, and there are statistics. Much political correcting about condoms and HIV has been done. CDC claims condoms prevent pregnancy 85%-98% of the time. That means they fail to do so 2%-15% of the time. If the sperm are getting out, so is the virus. Yet, the folks at CDC want us to believe that condoms are much much better than 85% effective when it comes to HIV. Huh? My doctorate is in microbiology and molecular biology and I scratch my head at the CDC’s contortions over condoms and HIV.
Consider the wording of “Condoms and STDs: Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel”
http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm
First look at the certitude relative to condoms and HIV which comes out of urethral and vaginal secretions.
“Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.”
“Epidemiologic studies that are conducted in real-life settings, where one partner is infected with HIV and the other partner is not, demonstrate that the consistent use of latex condoms provides a high degree of protection.”
Now look at the language for transmission of Other Diseases transmitted by genital secretions, including Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Trichomoniasis:
“Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of transmission of STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis.”
“Epidemiologic studies that compare infection rates among condom users and nonusers provide evidence that latex condoms can protect against the transmission of STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis.”
Where are the cheerleaders with ‘highly effective’ on these diseases? They are all transmitted in the same fluids as HIV. The condom either blocks the pathogen-laden secretions, or it doesn’t. It’s one or the other.
The Pope is advised by some pretty smart physicians and scientists. Not all of us have drunk the Kool-Aid.



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panthera

posted March 19, 2009 at 8:41 am


Given that we currently have precisely three known means of preventing transmission of the disease, perhaps these discussions on the effectiveness of condoms are of more academic than practical use.
(The three means: Not having sex with an infected person, condoms and a relatively new topical film, similar to a personal lubricant which, used properly, appears to be 100% effective in protecting female mice against viral transmission.)
One of my closest friends is a specialist who performs surgery, frequently on people suffering viral infections including Hiv, and when I asked her this morning about the Cardinal’s statement, she nearly overwhelmed my server with results and methodology of properly conducted, scientifically rigorous tests, all of which show that the virus easily crosses intestinal membranes, such are as found in some non-latex condoms, but not latex and the two other synthetic elastomer formulations her surgery uses to protect operating personnel.
Being a surgeon (and a good Catholic at that) she also exploded in fury at the danger of propagating such misinformation as the Cardinal Trujillo did. We won’t get into that, anyone who knows surgeons knows they play with very sharp knives.
A recent piece of information has come to light which casts the entire reporting of success through abstinence in the Uganda dictatorship under suspicion. The Bush #43 administration went to great lengths to assist that government in eradicating gays and directly, actively excluding them from any programs of prevention or treatment. Again, this was the US government under Bush.
A link to one of many sources is given above.
This is a prime example of the hateful, spiteful evil that christianists do to us as homosexuals. We are directly under attack from these people. They want us dead.
I do hope concerned people see that and can reflect on it. It helps, sadly, to explain the fury of people such as myself. We aren’t paranoid or making it up.
Gerard, I have so many links, tell you what. This one from Merck may already be know to you, I think is the most interesting in that direction. Since the filters here are rather allergic, you know what to do :) HyperTextTransferProtocol://worldwideweb.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)61593-7/fulltext
You can google several references, including Buchbinder’s direct statements without difficulty.
I have read your arguments and, discounting the Ugandan situation which now seems to fall more into the arena of persecution and willful attack on gays, you do raise some valid points.
Speaking as a man who has traveled in Africa, I have made a few observations myself. First, even tho’ the Republican Ray of Hope, Caribu Barbie doesn’t know it, Africa is not one country, but a continent of many diverse countries and cultures. Specifically in the Lake Victoria area, there are indeed many Africans who are conservative Christians. There are also many many cultures and groups of Africans who can not be influence to change their sexual practices through fundamentalist Christian theology. Many conservative Christians writing here have made plain that the death of gays and Negros doesn’t bother them one bit. The death of any soul bothers me quite a bit and so I would rather try to work within a culture to end the epidemic, even such a culture as I find personally distasteful, than to see people suffer and die.
Condoms are the only tool we have which works at a very low information level.
In the end, it helps enormously to see these discussions. The serve to highlight just how very little many conservative Christians actually care about saving lives. Now that we have reports such as those on Uganda, I am appalled to see that many are now not only talking, but actually taking action to kill gays and Negros.
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose….



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Karen Brown

posted March 19, 2009 at 10:37 am


Unsure what you are asking, Gerald.
If you are saying there are fewer ‘cheerleaders’ who endorse use of condoms against such things as Gonorrhea or Herpes than AIDS, then I would say.. most ads I see say ‘STD’s’, which run the gamut which includes them all. I know of none that say, “It works with AIDS, but not as effective with…”. And the heavier emphasis on AIDS might have something to do with that it is the only one in the category that can be terminal.
If you are talking about semantics (use of ‘greatly reduce’ rather than ‘highly effective’) that seems a distinction with only a little difference. When dealing with gonorrhea or chlymidia, they are different viruses than AIDS.
One of the fortunate characteristics of the AIDS virus is that it does not survive long exposed to the open air. This is NOT true of all other STD’s. You will see a longer list of methods of transmission with other STD’s, not all of which deal with direct contact of blood supply to blood supply contact with a carrier.
Therefore, condoms do NOT protect from all transmission methods with other STD’s. Those transmission methods do not apply to AIDS, therefore not comparing apples to apples.
Gonorrhea, since it passes through mucus membranes, for instance, can be spread through oral-genital contact even without a cut or tear. Herpes, since the outbreak doesn’t confine itself to the areas covered by a condom, still has a chance to spread despite the use of condoms. You can even touch an infected area, and rub your eyes and spread it that way.
Since transmission methods vary from one STD to another, one can add different qualifiers, legitimately, when dealing with how effective a particular preventative is in preventing new outbreaks.
I’m sure, as a microbiologist, you would be aware of this, and how language in detailing research results is used.



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Mike

posted March 20, 2009 at 11:13 pm


That is why I am honored Rev. Rick Warren.



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rico

posted March 21, 2009 at 10:23 am


To fight against the use of condoms is the fight against common sense. To the extent that people already engage in sexual activitices, condoms can hardly be seeen as exascerbating the problem. I think the real issue is to teach responsible sexual behavior. Preaching abstinence is an anachronism that’s out of touch with reality. You can find more of this perspective at: http://www.ricoexplainsitall.com/politcs-economy/2009/3/20/sex-and-the-vatican-city.html



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm


==To fight against the use of condoms is the fight against common sense.==
Ho0w ’bout the “common sense” of having the strength to say, NO!”
== To the extent that people already engage in sexual activitices…==
Translation #1: “Hey, everybody does it!”
Translation #2: “But, Dad, all my friends do it!”
==… condoms can hardly be seeen as exascerbating the problem.==
What does their use do to the Morals and the mind? Think: Corruption.
== I think the real issue is to teach responsible sexual behavior.==
Whose “responsiblity”? Which “responsibility” will prevail?
== Preaching abstinence is an anachronism that’s out of touch with reality. ==
The Devil says that, too.



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Karen Brown

posted March 22, 2009 at 9:21 pm


I don’t know why I’m bothering, but I’ll will confine it to one post.
In a country where a majority of AIDS transmission involves heterosexual sex, and a great many women get it from their HUSBANDS, I don’t really see where references to ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ or ‘all my friends do it’, or even abstinence really applies.
The post isn’t about a bunch of teens in some US high school, it is about the AIDS epidemic in Africa.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm


==In a country where a majority of AIDS transmission involves heterosexual sex…==
Heterosexuals got AIDS from those who claim to be bisexual who got it from those who claim to be homosexual.
==…and a great many women get it from their HUSBANDS…==
Maybe, and maybe not.
==… I don’t really see where references to ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ or ‘all my friends do it’, or even abstinence really applies.==
We know.
==The post isn’t about a bunch of teens in some US high school, it is about the AIDS epidemic in Africa.==
And how does that discount the posts so far?



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Karen Brown

posted March 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm


Heterosexuals with Aids got it from stealth gay and bisexual men…
You know, I actually have a life where I can do things are actually productive. So, as I stated, no point in any further posts on the subject.
Take Care.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm


==Heterosexuals with Aids got it from stealth gay and bisexual men…==
No, they got it from those who claim they are bisexual who got it from those who claim to be homosexual.
==You know, I actually have a life where I can do things are actually productive.==
Good. So do I AND I can still find the time to fight the good fight. Versatile, huh?
== So, as I stated, no point in any further posts on the subject.==
That’s ok. You gotta do watchoo gotta do.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 23, 2009 at 10:54 pm


==Heterosexuals with Aids got it from stealth gay and bisexual men…==
No, they got it from those who claim to be bisexual [and act out that claim] who got it from those who claim to be homosexual [who act out that claim].
==You know, I actually have a life…==
Hey! Me, too! What a coincidence!
==… where I can do things are actually productive.==
Me, too! And, yet, I find the time to fight the good fight! Versatile, huh.
== So, as I stated, no point in any further posts on the subject.==
You gotta do watchoo gotta do.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm


==Heterosexuals with Aids got it from stealth gay and bisexual men…==
Heterosexuals got it from those who claim and act out their claim of bisexuality. Those who claim and act out their claim of bisexuality got it from those who claim and act out their claim of homosexuality.
==You know, I actually have a life…==
Hey, what a coincidence! Me, too!
==…== where I can do things are actually productive.==
I can do alotta things, too, and most of them at the same time!
== So, as I stated, no point in any further posts on the subject. ==
You gotta do watchoo gotta do.



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