Condoms Feed AIDS Monster

Anthony Zimmerman
June 29, 1999
Reproduced with Permission

Mary Scialabba writes about the article claiming that condoms are 98% protection against AIDS. Bob Kambic writes about condom promotion to slow down AIDS infection. Maybe this will be helpful:

The insert in oral contraceptive packages, revised in May, 1998, indicates a 14% pregnancy rate for typical use of male condoms, and 3% pregnancy rate for perfect use. For female condoms, a 20% rate for typical use, and 5% for perfect use. Continuing use at one year: 61% for male condoms, 56% for females. (Ortho- McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. insert in Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Tablets.)

If true - and a 14% failure rate for condoms is found in many reports - then the claim that condoms are 98% protection against AIDS is wishful thinking. Or fraudulent advertising.

The old joke about NFP and Russian roulette is no joke when applied to condoms and HIV infection. Russian roulette gave you 5 chances out of 6 to survive. Condoms, 14% safety, give you 6 chances out of 7 to avoid infection. But if you repeat over and over, if you play 7 rounds of condom roulette, you are due for infection on the 7th round if not before; that is, on your 49th intercourse while using the condom.

Read also "The Disastrous Results of Condom Distribution Programs, by John D. Hartigan in C.L. Foundations March-April 1999, p. 22. Lawyer Hartigan cites a number of studies and the results, and concludes: "Given the long record of failures, the time has come for educators and health officials to abandon their blind faith in condoms and face the fact that supplying youngsters with condoms does not reduce teenage pregnancies or HIV infections. On the contrary, all the available evidence shows that condom distribution will only worsen the consequences of teenagers' sexual activity. Clearly, another approach needs to be taken if your young people are going to be protected from the scourges of teen pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, and HIV.

A Japanese proverb states: "Isogaba, maware!" "When in a hurry, take the long way around." When everybody shouts "Africans are dying of AIDS, so DO SOMETHING!" But we say, please don' t panic. Take the long way around which is safe. The way is abstinence. Africans, like all other children of Adam and Eve, have the use of reason. If we all join together and promote abstinence as the cure for AIDS, at least a remnant will survive. The condom is a dangerous short-cut. It leaves the problem in place without eliminating it. Condom distribution does the very dangerous thing of giving false assurance that it protects people. The protection is of short duration. Condom users in heavily HIV infected Africa as elsewhere, are lemmings marching to the precipice.

Some used to say - even some theologians - that polygamy makes common sense for the African culture. The Church should accommodate, they argued. But monogamy is the right way for all the world, for all children of monogamous Adam and Eve. Christians in Africa are rectifying the culture. In Kenya, for example, and other East African countries, base Catholic communities have learned to provide for situations when a husband is baptized and has to chose one from among his wives. There are match makers,, employment agencies, many ways. They work at this together.

My friend Father Julian Kangalawe of Tanzania doesn't believe in distributing condoms to avoid AIDS. In 1993, as we drove the 600 picturesque kilometers from Perarniho in west Tanzania,, to Dar Es Salaam on the east coast, he remarked that every truck stop along the way has free condoms on display for everyone to use. Government orders! But he had already buried five parishioners who died of AIDS. From rural areas they had gone to cities to get jobs, then came home to die. He reported that their were 49 million condoms in containers on a pier in Dar Es Salaam awaiting distribution - courtesy US government and your tax money.

Sister Birgitta Schnell, OSB, surgeon and administrator of St. Benedict Hospital in Ndanda, Tanzania, treated 110 HIV patients in one year (1997 report). But she doesn't pass out condoms either. She writes in the 1997 report: "We conducted 63 seminars, meeting and training courses for a total of 2,419 people on Billings Ovulation Method, Fertility Life Education, STDS and AIDS. During our activities we stressed chastity before marriage and faithfulness in marriage." More recently she wrote: "We are very busy with courses on the Billings method and pro-fife seminars. Tomorrow we will start one for priests. Last year I conducted a three day seminar in Peramiho, major seminary which you had visited." I am willing to wage that the survival rate of the chaste will be higher than that of condom users.

Seminaries and convents in many African countries are filled and overflowing. Thousands aspire for the celibate fife. They know what Africa needs. Father Julian, Sister Birgitta, and so many other Africans are being kinder to their people than would-be-do-gooders who distribute condoms. I repeat: Isogaba, maware! When in a hurry, take the long way around. Teach chastity. That is reasonable for all mankind, none excepted.