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Meditation 751
Pope is wrong again: Condoms do work

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Every time I think I've criticized the Pope enough and intend to leave the Catholic Church alone for a while (I do consider Catholicism more "enlightened" than are the evangelicals and fundamentalists) the celibate old fool has to align himself with evil again. In visiting Africa, he stated that you cannot overcome HIV/AIDS by distributing condoms, instead it will increase it.

"...the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it." *

No Benedict. You are wrong! Perhaps because you have never had sex, you don't understand what a condom is or how it works. Or perhaps it just is more of the Catholic Church's absurd and gross over-evaluation of the potential value of a potential fetus over the actual lives of living breathing healthy human beings.

Whether condom useage inhibits or increases the transmission rates of HIV/AIDS is a matter of statistics.

Consider this: it's been estimated that the odds of catching HIV/AIDS from an infected person through a single act of unprotected intercourse is 1 in 500 and condoms are 97% effective. That means (if I've calculated correctly) that proper use of a condom will mean that the chance of disease transmission is reduced to less than one in 10,000.

Now - there are going to be two types of condom user - the person who would have had sex anyway, but who because of condom availability chose to use one, and has had the risk of infection greatly reduced - and the person who would not have had sex at all in the situation if a condom were not available, and who has now incurred that 1 in 10,000 risk.

While there are no hard numbers on the distribution of those two types of condom users, I suggest that it is pretty clear that the total reduction in HIV/AIDS transmission in the first class greatly exceeds the small increase incurred by the second class.

And most HIV/AIDS workers and researchers (the exceptions mostly being those religiously blinkered) agree: Use of condoms lowers the sexual transmission rate of HIV/AIDS


* Source - an interview with the Pope published on the Vatican website