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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

If You Want to Control AIDS, DO NOT Promote Condoms

According to this article from Human Life International,
  • By 1987, there were 112 cases of HIV/AIDS infection in Thailand and 135 cases in the Philippines.
  • In 1991 the World Health Organization (WHO) AIDS Program forecasted that by 1999 Thailand would have 60,000 to 80,000 cases, and that the Philippines would experience between 80,000 and 90,000 cases of HIV/AIDS.
  • During that same year the Minister of Health of Thailand, Mr. Viravedya, launched the heavy-handed, "100% Condom Use Program." All brothels were required to stock a large supply of condoms, and condom vending machines appeared in supermarkets, bars and other public places. This initiative was widely accepted by the people of Thailand.
  • A year after this program was set loose upon Thailand (1992), the infamous Secretary of Health (now a senator), Mr. Juan Flavier, tried to implement the program in my own country, the Philippines. Flavier's efforts in the Philippines failed, however ..
  • .. and in 1999 the UNAIDS reported 755,000 total confirmed cases of HIV infection in Thailand-65,000 had died of the disease. That same year, in the Philippines, the total number of HIV cases was only 1,005. The disease had killed only 225 people.
  • As of August 2003 there were 899,000 HIV/AIDS cases documented in Thailand and approximately 125,000 deaths attributed to the disease. These numbers are many times those projected by the WHO (60,000-80,000 cases) in 1991.
    These numbers contrast sharply with those of the Philippines where, as of September 30, 2003, there were 1,946 AIDS cases resulting in 260 deaths.
  • The discrepancy between the numbers of HIV/AIDS cases in Thailand and the Philippines is particularly poignant considering that the Philippines is actually the more populous country. According to the U.N., Thailand has 66 million people. While according to the USAID-funded Commission on Population, the Philippines is now home to 82 million souls.
So how was AIDS controlled so well in the Philippines? They certainly didn't promote condoms. Instead, chastity and abstinence are promoted, and sexual promiscuity is heavily discouraged. The primary reason why condom promotion fails is that it also promotes promiscuity with multiple partners, a perfect setup to spread AIDS. After all, what condom adherents don't tell us (or may not know themselves) is that condom effectiveness against STDs is actually quite dismal. For example,
  • "Spillage from condoms occurs as much as 65% to 75% of the time." Bjorklund and Gordon. Univ of Manitoba. Nov. 1990.
  • "The rubber comprising latex condom has intrinsic voids about 5 microns in size." The HIV virus is 0.1 micron. Roland, Rubber World. June 1993. Roland and Sobieski, Rubber Chemistry and Technology. Vol. 62, 1989.
  • The ISO standard for condoms allows 2 per 350 to be defective (about six defects per thousand.) (Tough luck if you happen to be one of those six)
  • In one test, 33% of latex condoms leaked HIV sized particles. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. vol.19. 1992
(Read more here)

And the success in the Philippines isn't a fluke. Exactly one year ago today (remarkable, that), I blogged about the decline of AIDS in Uganda. There were claims that the decline was due to deaths. That was based on unpublished findings by an unfinished research project. Oddly enough, I cannot find further publications on the topic since 1999 by the lead researcher. So where are the results to back up that claim?

On the other hand, I did find this article about findings to the contrary. It cites a Harvard report, "What Happened in Uganda?" (online here) by Dr. Edward C. Green et al. The report was submitted to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Green debunks the notion that mortality accounts for the drop in AIDS infections in Uganda. He instead cites the Ugandan ABC program (Abstinence, Being faithful to your spouse, and Condoms only in high risk situations) as the leading factor. There were later some irregularities cited in the Citizen's Magazine report about how Dr. Green's report was shelved and how he was replaced by a condom advocate instead. Read more from my original blog and the Citizen Magazine reports here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

So it seems that the big AIDS and abortion advocates use the same tactics, too. Hide the facts, shout the lies louder to drown out the truth, and obscure the issues. Disgusting.


Venerable Aussie said...

Thanks for these links Jeff.

About 15 years ago I was one of 5 people in a room with then head of the United Nations Population Fund, Nafis Sadik (my job was to take notes). As head of the most prominent population control organisation in the world, she was a prime example of the slippery PR facade which masks not only dodgy statistics, but a very dangerous and decidedly unhealthy (literally) social agenda.

Jeff Tan said...

Hi, Venerable. It's both horrible and amazing that they manage to get away with so much! The data is out there and easy to verify from public records, but nobody seems to check them out. In the recent RU486 debate here in Australia, for example, the advocates of the bill from the public never bothered to look beyond the propaganda. Aren't they aware, or arent they the least bit worried that the TGA do not do their own tests and that RU486 has been around for about 20 years and those 11 deaths linked to it (so far) were still fairly recent?

Kieren Green said...

Another point of view is annoyance at the continual governmental interference in people's lives. As someone who believes in small government (anarchy would be preferable, but that's another story), I despise the social engineering attempts by governments and large organisations to control people's behaviour.

The spread of disease caused by AIDS may be one evil, but a far greater evil is the promotion of particular preventions whether it be abstinence or condoms.

Jeff Tan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Tan said...

Hi Kieren. I don't think the promotion of certain ideas is in itself wrong. We can't do without order, after all. Promoting ideas such as "rape is wrong" has got to be good, right?

Imposition is not in itself wrong, either. We impose laws, for example, to prosecute and, if necessary, incarcerate murderers and rapists. That's an imposition that is welcomed by all except the offenders themselves.

What has to underpin everything is truth. Laws and government actions must have truth at their foundation. A sore point that is relevant to the Church and even non-religious scientists (e.g., pro-life atheists) concerning various issues is that something fishy is going on in far too many moves by population control and/or AIDS control groups. Promoting ideas is one thing, but to promote them through lies and deception is another. When the truth is completely revealed, people can make informed decisions. When the data is valid, scientists can practice good science.

"a far greater evil is the promotion of particular preventions whether it be abstinence or condoms." -- This can only be true if the promotion of those preventions is laced with deception. For example, promoting condoms while hiding the fact that condoms are miserably ineffective and increases STD transmission due to increased promiscuity with multiple sex partners. How often do condom advocates mention those facts?

It sounds to me like your concern is about the stifling of freedom, and we should all have such a concern, but promoting the truth can only be good for freedom. When the Church, for example, promotes abstinence and marital fidelity to control STDs, she is only being truthful. The scientific data agrees 100%. You can't get AIDS from absitnence and risks are definitely higher with multiple sex partners.

Imagine this: what if the Church stopped promoting such truths. What do you get? Large groups with vested interests will simply hide the data in order to make money from selling their condoms. They'll be the only ones left promoting their ideas. They can drown out the small voices coming from the few scientists who understand the duplicity going on.

If one really values freedom, then each and every opportunity to discover, understand and promote the truth should be taken. Nothing can be more objective than the truth. Freedom is impossible without the truth.