Tuesday, November 15, 2005

AIDS Prevention: Condoms v. Abstinence

A never-ending source of head-shaking amusement can be found reading some of the MoonBat Left blogs. One recent lurker took me to task for being "ignorant", simply because this little blog is certainly not left-of-center, and I have had the foolish habit of decrying the problems of homosexuality here. So, to gain the banner of "enlightened", all I need to is say that the untrammeled practice of homosexuality is a good thing, and voila! You have your wits about you again.

So saith the Cluebat Left.


This is NOT to say that the Left is insensitive to the trials and tribulations of their fellow man. A recent comment I read on a rather batty Left blog recently gave me pause:

For the record, kudos to you for your extensive helping nature that you gratiouitsly wax on about above. But before your very easy to predict response of "what have you done for humanity", I will tell you. Among many things, I normally take two to three months a year, unpaid, to practice medicine in Africa, as the HIV crisis is just a little bit of a health concern in a continent that has over 50% infection rate.

You may even do things to help there too. Like push for abstinence only education, condoms as a last resort, and "social teaching", re. religious indoctrination. Well that sounds very cute, but I've seen it in action. How is the thirteen year old hooker who supports her siblings as her parents are both dead of HIV (current staistics support that assertion 9/10 times), and sells her body, in any way gaining a benifit by abstinence education or lack of condom availabiltiy? Oh, right! Silly me. She doesn't count does she?

Brenda this may be a bitter little pill to swallow, but in Africa women don't often have sexual autonomy. In fact most who get HIV, get it through unchoiced sex. Please apply your paradigms here and show us your "logic".


Set aside the gratuitous slams (not to mention the gratuitous self-backslapping) and the poor spelling. Clearly, this person (NOT a doctor) is rightfully appalled at the monstrous infection rate in Africa, and the fact that most women in that region have little to no autonomy of person that women in the West enjoy.

The author claims that out of mercy and expediency that condom usage needs to be done to save the lives of these women.


After doing a bit of research, I was forced to pause and consider for a moment that the Cluebat may actually have a point; that maybe Proportionality comes into play here, and just maybe a smaller sin is needed to prevent the larger evil. After all there are bishops in Africa (not speaking ex cathedra) that seem to insinuate that the Church needs to revisit its position on condoms in Africa, given the horrendous epidemic it suffers under.

But, then I did a little more research. And what do you know, but little old Science, that "evil" discpline that I am suppoed to be foursquare against, came to the defense of -you'll never guess it- the proponents of abstinence programs!!!

Uganda provides the clearest example that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is preventable if populations are mobilized to avoid risk. Despite limited resources, Uganda has shown a 70% decline in HIV prevalence since the early 1990s, linked to a 60% reduction in casual sex. The response in Uganda appears to be distinctively associated with communication about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) through social networks. Despite substantial condom use and promotion of biomedical approaches, other African countries have shown neither similar behavioral responses nor HIV prevalence declines of the same scale. The Ugandan success is equivalent to a vaccine of 80% effectiveness. Its replication will require changes in global HIV/AIDS intervention policies and their evaluation.

Population Health Evaluation Unit, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.
(here is the link for the abstract.)

Oopsie. Both science (as in the discipline) and Science magazine (sponsored by the AAAS -The American Association for the Advancement of Science- one of the more rigorous scientific organizations out there) seem to be saying that abstinence programs DO work. By golly.



Science set aside, let us wander into the realm of philosophy for a moment. (of which empirical science is but a branch of, but that is another topic, another time)

Briefly, let us look at the basic expectations that the liberal mindset has placed upon sexuality since the '60s. "It's good. Everyone is going to Do It. So, to prevent pregnancy/STDs/AIDS, we need to make sure that condoms/abortion et al are easily available."

Now, while no one will disagree with the idea that sex is a Good Thing (when used as the manufacturer intended), let's look at what lurks behind Curtain #2, "Everyone is going to Do It." Implicit in that statement is the belief that we as humans are no different than monkeys. That we cannot Help Ourselves. We are helpless before the god Orgasm, and must make sure that we enjoy the fruits of that god without the attendant responsibilities. Because once again, "We Can't Help Ourselves."


Sorry. It ain't that simple. And you aren't off the old hook of Responsibility that easily.

The Ugandans seem to be providing factual evidence that another element may be at work here. That in fact, with a bit of education and intestinal fortitude, it would seem that people CAN control their urges.

And I recognize from the above quote that much of the human misery that contributes to the AIDS epidemic in Africa stems from local governments -in all likelihood steeped in corruption- being unable/unwilling to make the policy decisions necessary to change conditions so that those desperate 13 year olds might escape their plight.


But we let those governments off too easily by throwing condoms at them. We say in part: "The problem is insoluble. Here is a slight panacea."

Sorry. That won't do it either. The problem IS fixable, humans CAN control their appetites.


But liberal cluebats, -deep down- believe that humans are no better than animals. That we cannot help ourselve. That we really can't manage heroic actions to answer huge problems. They prefer to say, "Poor child. Let is comfort you in your misery."


Whereas the correct thing to do, the truly humanistic (and Christian, what a coincidence) action is to say; "Poor child. Let me help you up so that you may teach you and your children to never know this misery again."

Which worldview is truly more honoring to the human? What really strives for more in terms of human excellence -in ALL things-? American liberalism circa 2005 A.D.?





I think not.
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