Professors Toole and Moodie wrote assertively about AIDS in Thailand and the Philippines without references. That circumcision reduces the risk of AIDS is not conclusively proven (see http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/, which provides references to studies). Something else about the Philippines was unmentioned: men are sexually conservative by western (and Thai) standards. This is the most avowed Catholic country in the region.
The good professors also failed to cite Dr. Edward Green's studies on Uganda (see http://www.usaid.gov/pop_health/aids/Countries/africa/uganda_report.pdf, an official report submitted to USAID). He is the Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project of Harvard University. Dr. Green recently cited "no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.” (see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5987155.ece). Instead, the Guttmacher Institute was cited. But Alan Guttmacher was president of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion and contraception provider in America, whose international projects include spending money and lobbying for legal safeguards in the Philippines for abortion and contraception (http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_filipino_front_in_the_culture_wars/).
Finally, condom success in Senegal was cited, but a USAID report cites abstinence education, partner reduction along with condom use (see http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/TechAreas/prevention/condomfactsheet.html) as deciding factors.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Non-evidence on preventing AIDS by condom: in mainstream media (of course)
Not that I expect to see this printed, but I sent the following letter to The Age in response to "The evidence on preventing AIDS is clear", which was full of unclear assertions with few details and no references: