Friday, January 30, 2009

Condoms & HIV = death sentence

A question I rec'd via email:

I heard from a student in bible study class that the Holy Father had commission a study, and that the imposition condoms may be necessary for Africa to curb the spread of Aids. Have you heard of such an inquiry? I have not and don't think that this is actually factual. Could you pleas help me if you can find such a statement. I can't find such a statement. I am assuming that a statement such as this might be from a secular press if at all.

The burden is not upon you to prove the non-existence of something, but the burden is upon your student to prove the existence of what has been asserted. Granted, Individual bishops have crossed the line and advocated condoms for married spouses, but that is another matter.

A good summary document (from 2004) is:
Family Values Versus Safe Sex
A Reflection by His Eminence, Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, President, Pontifical Council for the Family

Also this is interesting:-------------------
Condom Risk
Besides the risks inherent in every “protected action” in which the condom is used, there is a cumulative risk factor. Even if the risks were constant (and we know that they are not because there are variants that change increasing or decreasing these risks) the repetition of the conduct increases the probability of infection. What has to be considered therefore is not only the risk of infection from one act of “protected” intercourse , but also the cumulative risk from continuing “protected” acts of intercourse. The risk of infection and death dramatically increases in the medium or long term. One author, very reasonably claims that from an “epidemiological” perspective, an HIV/AIDS infected person having “protected” sex seven times, negates any protection a condom might offer. This means that safe sex becomes even more serious with repeated condom use. A person that persists in playing Russian Roulette will eventually kill himself, in the same way that a person that persists in having sexual relations protected by a condom with someone infected with HIV/AIDS.
Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carámbula, Director HLI-Rome

Promoters of condoms do not understand (or lie with) statistics; probabilities are multiplicative, not additive. Please consider that the effectiveness of a condom in preventing pregnancy is about 85% according to the CDC. That is the equivalent of putting 100 men on a plane with 85 good parachutes and 15 that won't open. Now you would have an 85% chance of jumping with a good parachute and surviving, but the point to remember is that if and when you survive, and you get on the next flight with the same number of good parachutes... your chance of getting a good chute is again 85%, but your cumulative chance is 0.85x0.85, or .72%. By the 3rd jump it is 61%, 4th it is 52%, 5th is 44%... etc. You have a 19% chance of surviving your 10th jump! Would I not be morally culpable if I encouraged this by hiding the cumulative probability and touting the 85% number, which is valid for each jump?

This can also be demonstrated in a very simple way with dice; give everyone in the group a die and have them roll. Count the number who roll less than a 6 compared to the total number who roll. do this a few times, and you will see, not unexpectedly that consistently each group roll validates that the probability of rolling less than 6 is 5/6, (83%), or about the same as the effectiveness of condoms in preventing pregnancy. To drive the point home, now ask each one to roll their die 10 times and see how many roll a 6 even once. Even though the probability is 83% not to roll a six, you will roll one.

When you consider that pregnancy can occur only a few days out of the month, whereas HIV infection is a risk every day, this Russian Roulette approach really is a death sentence; what are the stats on the effectiveness of preventing HIV with condoms? who would submit to a test as a control? it would be unethical; rather, there is a blind faith that this is a "good thing".

Those who refuse to think about it, constantly reply "Yes, but I'd rather take the chance to get a good chute than jump off the plane with none!" If one were to respond to this completely idiotic answer by supplying the questionable product, one would be guilty of complicity aned negligence; the only way to avoid the bad chute is to not jump out of the plane, a dumb thing to do for pleasure anyway.

If you think this is not so, consider for a moment when AIDS first appeared, the UN predictions on its spread in Thailand and the Philippines. Thailand had imposed a 100% condom use goal (ever sex act would be condomized), and the Philippines refused to permit promoting condoms. So, the UN predicted that by 2000 Thailand would have 50,000 cases and the Philippines would have 500,000 cases, or a 10 to 1 margin (I may not be precise on these numbers, but I have read the UN document and the point is valid). However the situation is quite the opposite; with 350,000 (or 700,000, depending on the source) cases of HIV in Thailand as of 2004, and 1200 in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the Philippines number has doubled recently, as there is now the presence of NGOs promoting condoms in the Philippines.


  1. What we get with Condom Education -

  2. That, my friend, is the premise, not the conclusion. That is why I point to Thailand vs Philippines, where the premise can be tested against a conclusion. The reality doesn't bear witness to the premise, but the opposite.

    Yes, more hypothetical jumpers from the plane will survive with defective chutes than if they all jumped with none. But that is not what we are comparing; we are not comparing jumping without a chute to jumping with a questionable chute, but instead comparing education which says "jump and die" to the bad advice of "jump and it will be fine."

    do the numbers.