Faithful condom users die

faithful condom2.jpg

Last week Human Life International got a "nuclear reaction" to 3 billboards it erected in the capital city of Tanzania in East Africa, where condoms are promoted to stave off the AIDS epidemic. (The title is rewritten in Swahili.) Reported HLI...

On Tuesday, the main newspaper in Tanzania, The Citizen, ran a story on our billboards.

The article described people at "high-profile" anti-life organizations like United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, Family Health International, Population Services International and others as "up in arms" ... and government officials as "jolted."

It said that the chairperson of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS was "furious"... and told of meetings... held with... the Prime Minister's office to discuss an "urgent intervention" to suppress and censor our message!

They're freaked because their failed plan is being exposed. Here is the latest (December 2006) map by the U.S. Census Bureau on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the low risk population of East African countries:

east africa.gif

Obviously, Tanzania is overwhelmed by AIDS, while Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda are not.

The difference? The latter 3, particularly Uganda, have more successfully focused on the A and B aspects of AIDS prevention (abstinence, be faithful) than Tarnzania, which obviously promotes C (condoms), explaining why the HLI billboards hit a nerve.

HLI needs donations to keep the billboards up. Donate here.

[HT: John Mallon]


Comments:

.....seriously?

Posted by: prettyinpink at March 31, 2008 10:29 AM


Oh PLEASE Jill.

Enough with the scare tactics. This is utter BS.

Tanzania happens to be the country I spent a month in last year working for the WHO.

They are most certainly NOT "overwhelmed" by AIDS. Preventable and curable diseases like Malaria and Lymphatic Filiaraisis are far more common and widespread there. While AIDS is endemic in pockets of the country, it has one of the lower per capita infection rates of all of sub saharan Africa.

I was fortunate enough while I was there to meet the president of Tanzania, Mr. Jakaya Kikwete. President Kikwete's speech at the WHO conference I attended focused on means of preventing ALL health problems that plagued his country...he discussed mosquito nets for Malaria, and a combination of CONDOMS AND ABSTINENCE to prevent further spread of HIV.

The Tanzanian is making leaps and bounds to improve their public health, and you honestly think some outside organization sticking up a billboard with a SKELETON on it is going to get a positive reaction?

How about instead of donating to keep up a bunch of ridiculous billboards, you donate money to the PEOPLE of Tanzania who actually need it - for clean water, for school books, etc.

PLEASE don't insult yourself by pretending you know what's best for a country that you haven't the slightest clue about. Their government is not run by idiots - they have every right to decide what outside organizations they will allow to enter their country, to give aid or put up billboards.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 10:53 AM


They already know what happens when no one uses condoms. Thats preferable?

Posted by: TexasRed at March 31, 2008 10:53 AM


This is an April Fools thing one day early, right? Or maybe a story from The Onion?

Posted by: Ray at March 31, 2008 11:09 AM


a great editorial from a newspaper in Dar:

Tanzania: Aids is Too a Grave Matter


The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

27 March 2008
Posted to the web 27 March 2008


A billboard put up in Dar es Salaam recently has stirred up a lot of controversy. It's the work of an NGO, Human Life International, and depicts a skeleton, seeming to imply that condoms are not effective protection against contracting HIV.

As expected, there have been sharp reactions from several quarters, including the Tanzania Commission for Aids (TacAids). This threatens to revive the needless past fights between the two groups on how to tackle the Aids pandemic.

While the church advocates abstinence and being faithful to one partner, TacAids and others have pointed out that not all can confirm to that, hence the need for other tested methods like the condom if people must indulge in unsafe sex.

What we must emphasise is that this scourge poses too grave a danger for our country to get needlessly split on how to deal with it.

The message that must go out there loud and clear is that there is no cure yet for Aids and that everything possible must be done to ward off this grim threat to society.

Tanzania, like many other African countries, has suffered a devastating blow from the scourge, with up to 2 million people said to be living with the virus, while 160,000 die every year.

There are about a million Aids orphans. This is a huge burden and Tanzania needs the support of all, including donors.

This is why all must avoid sideshows that are likely to send the wrong signals out and hamper efforts to tackle this pandemic with the seriousness it deserves.
___________________________________


A sideshow. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 11:12 AM


Amanda, 10:53a, wrote: "Tanzania happens to be the country I spent a month in last year working for the WHO. They are most certainly NOT 'overwhelmed' by AIDS."

My, Amanda, you apparently know more than the Census Bureau! You should alert it right away!

And the editorial you posted was supposed to help make your case?

And, smart girl, you have nothing to say about the obvious success of the AB approach in surrounding countries vs. Tanzania?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 31, 2008 11:42 AM


Thanks, Amanda for trying to keep Jill honest.

Unfortunately, that is a full-time job.

Posted by: anonymous at March 31, 2008 11:43 AM


Pertinent to this discussion is a devastating critique of primarily condom-based AIDS prevention programs in Africa in the current issue of First Things ("AIDS and the Churches: Getting the Story Right").

(It's also worth noting that one of the authors of said article, Edward Green, is the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies; the other author, Allison Herling Ruark, is a research fellow there.)

Of particular note from the article:

Consider this fact: In every African country in which HIV infections have declined, this decline has been associated with a decrease in the proportion of men and women reporting more than one sex partner over the course of a year—which is exactly what fidelity programs promote. The same association with HIV decline cannot be said for condom use, coverage of HIV testing, treatment for curable sexually transmitted infections, provision of antiretroviral drugs, or any other intervention or behavior. The other behavior that has often been associated with a decline in HIV prevalence is a decrease in premarital sex among young people.

If AIDS prevention is to be based on evidence rather than ideology or bias, then fidelity and abstinence programs need to be at the center of programs for general populations. Outside Uganda, we have few good models of how to promote fidelity, since attempts to advocate deep changes in behavior have been almost entirely absent from programs supported by the major Western donors and by AIDS celebrities. Yet Christian churches—indeed, most faith communities—have a comparative advantage in promoting the needed types of behavior change, since these behaviors conform to their moral, ethical, and scriptural teachings. What the churches are inclined to do anyway turns out to be what works best in AIDS prevention.

And:

In fact, the mainstream HIV/AIDS community has continued to champion condom use as critical in all types of HIV epidemics, in spite of the evidence. While high rates of condom use have contributed to fewer infections in some high-risk populations (prostitutes in concentrated epidemics, for instance), the situation among Africa’s general populations remains much different. It has been clearly established that few people outside a handful of high-risk groups use condoms consistently, no matter how vigorously condoms are promoted. Inconsistent condom usage is ineffective—and actually associated with higher HIV infection rates due to “risk compensation,” the tendency to take more sexual risks out of a false sense of personal safety that comes with using condoms some of the time. A UNAIDS-commissioned 2004 review of evidence for condom use concluded, “There are no definite examples yet of generalized epidemics that have been turned back by prevention programs based primarily on ­condom promotion.” A 2000 article in The Lancet similarly stated, “Massive increases in condom use world-wide have not translated into demonstrably improved HIV control in the great majority of countries where they have occurred.”

And:

Thus far, research has produced no evidence that condom promotion—or indeed any of the range of risk-reduction interventions popular with donors—has had the desired impact on HIV-infection rates at a population level in high-prevalence generalized epidemics. This is true for treatment of sexually ­transmitted infections, voluntary counseling and ­testing, diaphragm use, use of experimental vaginal microbicides, safer-sex counseling, and even income-­generation projects. The interventions relying on these measures have failed to decrease HIV-infection rates, whether implemented singly or as a package. One recent randomized, controlled trial in Zimbabwe found that even possible synergies that might be achieved through “integrated implementation” of “control strategies” had no impact in slowing new infections at the population level. In fact, in this trial there was a somewhat higher rate of new infections in the intervention group compared to the control group.
Meanwhile, the other interventions that have generally been called “best practices” simply do not seem to work in generalized epidemics, even though they are still applauded loudly at global AIDS conferences, while mention of fidelity and abstinence is received by booing, as Bill Gates discovered at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006. If we are to progress beyond science-by-popular-acclaim, we must accept that the evidence is much stronger for fidelity or partner reduction than for any of the standard-package HIV-prevention measures—in Africa at least—and so we need to rethink and reprogram AIDS-prevention interventions.

Admittedly, changing direction is hard when there has been massive investment in these “best practices.” It is not in the interest of a multibillion-dollar global AIDS industry to endorse interventions that are low-cost and homegrown and that rely on simple behavior change rather than medical products or services provided by outside experts. And so the major donors of AIDS programs continue to do the same things, expecting different results.

Posted by: John Jansen at March 31, 2008 11:44 AM


"While the church advocates abstinence and being faithful to one partner, TacAids and others have pointed out that not all can confirm to that, hence the need for other tested methods like the condom if people must indulge in unsafe sex."

must indulge? wouldn't it be better not to indulge? and teach absinance ? instead of promoting fornication?

Great article Jill, it's nice ot hear the honest truth about Aids in Africa. Some here seem to care more about their idelogies (in pushing a sinful lifestyle) then really helping African people.

Posted by: jasper at March 31, 2008 11:48 AM


And, smart girl, you have nothing to say about the obvious success of the AB approach in surrounding countries vs. Tanzania?


Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 31, 2008 11:42 AM
***********************
That's not a valid conclusion. What were the rates of AIDS cases before anyone took ANY approach to AIDS? What were the percentages for these countries? Were they the same? or were they different to begin with? ARE condoms being used in the other countries or is the ONLY approach abstinence and monogamy? There are a whole lot of unanswered questions here.

Posted by: TexasRed at March 31, 2008 11:58 AM


For those of you interested in things like FACTS:

If you refer to this map and corresponding database, you will see that Kenya, one of the countries Jill listed in this post as having more control over the AIDS epidemic actually has a FAR HIGHER HIV prevalance rate in urban populations (like Dar, where the billboards are posted) than Tanzania (Tanzania is at 26.6%, while Kenya is at 58%).

The difference between Uganda and Tanzania is also minimal - (19.9 and 26.6) compared to countries like Lesotho and South Africa which are at 65% and 76% respectively.

There are no stats for Rwanda's urban population.

Also worth nothing, Zimbabwe was one of three African countries to see a DROP in HIV prevalance over the last few years. This is credited in large part to *drumroll please*

CONDOM DISTRIBUTION efforts by the government with support of the UN and several NGOs. The drop in HIV prevalance also correlated with a drop in STDs.

"Condoms, as it turns out, protect many Zimbabweans against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrohea, herpes, human papilloma virus, and syphilis. Condoms have become a critical component of broader HIV prevention strategies in Zimbabwe, especially among groups with high rates of partner change, such as sex workers.

While UNFPA is a staunch advocate – and a major supplier – of both male and female condoms, it also strongly promotes a more comprehensive and rights-based approach to HIV prevention, treatment and care for sex workers. This includes addressing the lack of options that so often play a role in individuals engaging in sex work and providing a range of educational and life skills, as well as economic supports, to allow for an exit route from sex work for those who chose to take it.


Zimbabwe is one of the three African countries showing a drop in HIV prevalence rates—down from 24.6 per cent in 2003 to 20.1 per cent in 2005"

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 11:58 AM


No Jill - you posted a map of low-risk population prevalance - meaning, if you bothered to read - Tanzania has a big problem with MARRIED women getting AIDS and transmitting it to their children via breastmilk.

This is not a population that uses condoms anyways.

The condom use population is considered the HIGH RISK population, specifically in urban areas - truckers and sex workers, where you will see, one of the countries you listed as having LESS of a problem with infection actually has DOUBLE the rates.

nice try though.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:03 PM


Thank you, Amanda.

Posted by: TexasRed at March 31, 2008 12:09 PM


Amanda, stick to the topic: LOW RISK populations, where of the 4 countries, Tanzania ranks 3rd in capital/major cities (urban) and 4th outside capital/major cities (rural).

Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 31, 2008 12:11 PM


Jasper - what is more sinful to you, as a parent... watching your child starve to death before your eyes, or becoming a sex worker because you don't think you have any other options and it puts food in your kids mouth?

So perhaps instead of donating money for ridiculous billboards, you'd rather spend that money on getting food to these people?

My friend Nick has been working with prostitutes in Ethiopia for the past year. 80% of them are mothers. They have knowingly sacrificed their own lives - most of them have already accepted their inevitable infection/death - just to feed their children.

You can judge them and call it "sinful" - I call it a human rights tragedy that with all the wealth on this planet, people still need to resort to that to feed their kids.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:15 PM


Jill - you're not getting it.

Low Risk population = MARRIED and/or RURAL

No one is trying to tell married couples to start using condoms. And those billboards are up in Dar, which is URBAN.

Tanzania in particular has had issues with mother-child transmission, which can not be prevented by condoms.

Condom distribution programs are targetted at the HIGH RISK populations, as I already mentioned - truckers, prostitutes, migrant workers, and unmarried teenagers.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:18 PM


Human Life International are drawing a connection between being faithful and death?

Tut tut, what would the funders at PEPFAR make of that?

Posted by: Elizabeth Pisani at March 31, 2008 12:33 PM


"You can judge them and call it "sinful" - I call it a human rights tragedy that with all the wealth on this planet, people still need to resort to that to feed their kids."

I agree and I'm not judging anybody (just stating the truth) that's why abstinance works, teaching them to withold from sex when they can't afford children. Our church has been giving money to causes in Africa for years and years, (please don't act like you and your friends are the only ones helping Africa. Btw: President Bush has done more for Africa than any other US president (Bob Geldof).

Posted by: jasper at March 31, 2008 12:36 PM


Just so people don't get the wrong idea....the billboards were erected by Pro-Life Tanzania, a Human Life International affiliate. HLI helps establish and fund pro-life organizations in various nations around the world. This wasn't a case of an outside organization pushing its agenda - HLI was merely helping their local affiliate.

http://www.hli.org/tanzania.html

Posted by: Vegan at March 31, 2008 12:42 PM


Amanda, no, you're not getting it - on purpose. You're trying to phenagle stats.

All the high risk urban stats are basically on prostitutes. You want to taylor an entire country's HIV/AIDS prevention plan based on the sex habits of prostitutes? You call that normal?

And you're fine with handing prostitutes condoms and saying, "Carry on"? What kind of feminist are you?

I've gleaned the stats from the 4 countries in discussion so Amanda can't play fast and loose with the truth, from

http://www.hivaidssurveillancedb.org/MAP/tab1.htm


Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 31, 2008 12:46 PM


Amanda, no, you're not getting it - on purpose. You're trying to phenagle stats.

All the high risk urban stats are basically on prostitutes. You want to tailor an entire country's HIV/AIDS prevention plan based on the sex habits of prostitutes? You call that normal?

And you're fine with handing prostitutes condoms and saying, "Carry on"? What kind of feminist are you?

I've gleaned the stats from the 4 countries in discussion so Amanda can't play fast and loose with the truth, from

www.hivaidssurveillancedb.org/MAP/tab1.htm

Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 31, 2008 12:48 PM


Think about the mixed message though Jasper -

in one corner you have the church telling people it is their duty, their purpose - to marry and have children.

in one corner you have people telling them not to have sex unless they have extra money.

not too many people in Africa have extra money. They should stop having sex/having children?

and Yes, Bush has allotted an unprecedented amount of money to trying to help the AIDS crisis in Africa. I think it will be one of his only positive legacies. Plenty of that money has gone to condom distribution programs and education programs to try to decrease the number of sex workers, which is why, in 2005, for the first time since the outbreak, 3 African countries saw a DECREASE in HIV prevalence.

The problem in cities like Dar is NOT condoms making people think its okay to have sex. Its a city with a WHOLE lot of men who come in to the city to work, and then go home for a few days a month to their wives in rural villages. They were living this way LONG before condoms were being handed out.

There are a whole lot of sex workers, and a whole lot of lonely truck drivers and migrant workers, and it creates a deadly combination.

These are people who SHOULD BE GIVEN CONDOMS (ie - high risk).

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:51 PM


"All the high risk urban stats are basically on prostitutes."

WRONG

high risk populations for AIDS in Africa are the following:

sex workers
drug users
migrant workers
truck drivers
unmarried teens

And yes Jill, so help me God, if sacrificing my life and my body was the only way to ensure the survival of my children, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:54 PM


Haha - Jill - those stats you just posted say exactly what I was trying to say:

the prevalance of HIV in the category people who condom distribution programs are aimed at is HIGHER in Kenya than in Tanzania, and the difference between Tanzania and Uganda is not statistically signficant.

Additionally, as I said, that the biggest problem in Tanzania is OUTSIDE the major cities, such as Dar where your pretty billboards are. So those are aimed at WHO exactly?

So thank you for backing up exactly what I was saying.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 1:01 PM


And yes Jill, so help me God, if sacrificing my life and my body was the only way to ensure the survival of my children, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:54 PM

Amanda:

Which of your children, the born or unborn?

Posted by: HisMan at March 31, 2008 1:04 PM


Amanda, read the fine print on the stats analysis. They're based on prostitutes.

Sacrifice away, Amanda. Speaking of, tell me, would you have sex with a man you know has full-blown AIDS who offers to wear a condom?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 31, 2008 1:05 PM


Not commenting on the billboard (yet) but I did want to point out...'


The message that must go out there loud and clear is that there is no cure yet for Aids and that everything possible must be done to ward off this grim threat to society.
*
Tanzania, like many other African countries, has suffered a devastating blow from the scourge, with up to 2 million people said to be living with the virus, while 160,000 die every year.

YET WE ALSO HEARD:

They are most certainly NOT "overwhelmed" by AIDS. Preventable and curable diseases like Malaria and Lymphatic Filiaraisis are far more common and widespread there. While AIDS is endemic in pockets of the country, it has one of the lower per capita infection rates of all of sub saharan Africa.

Posted by: mk at March 31, 2008 1:06 PM


The CIA website: The World Factbook

www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Tazania:

Population: 39,384,223
Infant mortality: 71.69 per 1,000 live births
HIV prevalence in adults: 8.8%
People living w/ HIV: 1.6 million (4% of population)
HIV deaths: 160,000 (0.41% ov population)

Kenya -

Pop: 36,913,721
In. Mort: 57.44 per 1,000 live births
HIV preval. adults: 6.7%
Peo. w/ HIV: 1.2 million (3.25% of pop)
HIV deaths: 150,000 (0.41% of pop)

Rwanda:

Pop: 9,907,509
In. Mort.: 85.27 per 1,000 live births
HIV preval. adults: 5.1%
Peo. w/ HIV: 250,000 (2.52% of pop)
HIV deaths: 22,000 (0.22% of population)

Uganda:

Pop: 30,262,610
In mort.: 67.22 per 1,000 live births
HIV prev. adults: 4.1%
Peo w/ HIV: 530,000 (1.75% of pop)
HIV deaths: 78,000 (0.26% of pop)

Statistically speaking, Tazania has a much higher HIV problem with a higher percentage of adults infected and higher percentages of deaths per year. The interesting stat in this is Rwanda having the higher infant mortality rate than Tazania. As Amanda stated, Tazania has a high rate of the spread of major infectious disease (without HIV being added in this) so I thought it would obviously have a higher infant mortality rate. (actually all 4 have problems with infectious disease but Tazania has more problems with it.) The only explanation given for all 4 having high infant mortality rates is the transmission of AIDS in infants.

Here is an example of how well abstinence programs are working in Africa:

www.stayalive.org/stayalive/

Posted by: valerie at March 31, 2008 1:07 PM


MK - I meant it was not statistically MORE overwhelmed than any of the other countries Jill listed. Especialyl when Malaria is still killing far more people than HIV/AIDS.

ALL of Africa is endemic obviously, but Tanzania certainly doesn't stand out compared to other nations with various types of prevention programs.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 1:13 PM


And yes Jill, so help me God, if sacrificing my life and my body was the only way to ensure the survival of my children, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:54 PM

Yet if it means your education or your career, all bets are off on your children surviving, right?

Posted by: valerie at March 31, 2008 1:15 PM


Valerie - Rwanda has a higher infant mortality rate due to starvation and malnutrition. Tanzania in recent years, despite its problems, is in pretty good shape compared to most of Africa when it comes to hunger issues.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 1:16 PM


Valerie Im not sure where you're pulling that from - I've stated on this board about 8 bazillion times I'd never even consider having an abortion unless I was raped.

and Jill - if I was living in Africa and that was the only way I was going to feed my kids, I would. That is the choice hundreds of thousands of women all over that continent are forced to make. For someone who values children so much, I would think you'd find it noble that women are so willing to sacrifice their lives to ensure the lives of their children.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 1:18 PM


If the mother dies then the newborn infant isnt going to have much chance of survival in those countries

Posted by: TexasRed at March 31, 2008 1:26 PM


Amanda -

"Valerie Im not sure where you're pulling that from - I've stated on this board about 8 bazillion times I'd never even consider having an abortion unless I was raped."

yes, but you support my statement. You are pro-choice right?

You are supporting (not telling them to do it but supporting their "choice") women selling their bodies to feed their kids yet you support women killing their babies so they can live as they please.

Also, I found this interesting and thought you would too: according to the CDC, UN and WHO when HIV is up so is malaria. When malaria is up, so is HIV. Some reports even put them together as the #1 cause of deaths along with TB in parts of Africa.

"Rwanda has a higher infant mortality rate due to starvation and malnutrition. Tanzania in recent years, despite its problems, is in pretty good shape compared to most of Africa when it comes to hunger issues"

I checked with the CDC and WHO and they confirm what the CIA said - that they hight rate is due to HIV. However, many articles from reputable papers say that starvation is the cause. Maybe the CDC, WHO and CIA dont' consider starvation as a "cause of death" since it technically isn't a disease?


Posted by: valerie at March 31, 2008 1:51 PM


amanda,

I don't mean to be picking on you today, honest, but I am curious.

You say you would never have an abortion yourself unless you were raped...

So the fact that this is still a child, doesn't count if you don't like the father? The child is still half yours after all.

If you would abort due to rape, why wouldn't you abort for other reasons?

I mean, if you can rationalize/justify the killing of one of your children, because it was forced upon you, then obviously you would not be willing to give up your life for your child, under certain circumstances.

Since nothing about the child has changed whether you were raped, broke up with the father, or planned the pregnancy, what, in your mind, makes an abortion due to rape, justifiable.

Do you see where I am coming from?

Either it is a baby from the beginning and must be protected, or it isn't and then it shouldn't matter what your reason for aborting is.

If it is a baby, and you recognize this, then how do you rest easy with the decision of other women to kill theirs?

It all seems kind of contradictory to me.

Posted by: mk at March 31, 2008 1:52 PM


Come on Amanda-

You would really have "protected" sex with someone who has full-blown AIDS in order to supposedly feed your children? Who's going to feed them WHEN YOU DIE?

The only reason you said you would is so you can appear to be consistent.

Get real..you wouldn't, and you and I both know it.

I would pick through a garbage can for food for my kids before I'd have sex with someone with AIDS so they could eat.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 31, 2008 1:58 PM


Valerie -

you are correct - most "cause of death" stats are only disease based. A good example of how that can be misleading at times is looking at the life expectancy in countries like Sierra Lionne and Cote D'Ivoire. They are hovering in the low to mid 20s (horrifying), although disease prevalance rates are about the same there as they are throughout Africa. The reason for the difference is violence - because both of those countries have entire militias made up of KIDS. But that kind of thing doesn't show up in a CDC stat, you know?

The correlation between HIV/Malaria is an interesting one. It was brought up at the conference I attended. The stats show correlation but not causation, as there is really no way to logically connect the two, since Malaria prevalance depends a lot on the weather and how the weather affects the yearly mosquito population.

Good news is that handing out mosquito nets has been one of the most successful and affordable large-scale public health efforts in Tanzania and Kenya - its just that it still has a long way to go.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 1:59 PM


Elizabeth - show me where in remote African villages there are "garbage cans" full of edible food.

Don't you dare tell me what I would and would not do. You don't know me from a hole in the wall. I wouldn't EVER pretend to know what decisions you would make with your life.

I have met these women, talked to them, heard their stories, met their children, and read similar experiences from Nick in Ethiopia. If I had 4 kids to feed, no education, no money, no job, and the only way to put food in my kids mouth was to risk getting AIDS, I would absolutely, honest to God, without a moments hesitation, lay down my life.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 2:03 PM


Valerie, you don't understand the First Amendment, so how the hell can anyone take you seriously when you post statistics from the CDC?

Posted by: Edyt at March 31, 2008 2:06 PM


MK -

Because I don't think it has anything to do with whether or not the fetus is a human or a person.

I believe it is a human, and have never stated otherwise. And I believe for me personally that when I have sex, I am consenting to pregnancy if it happens.

If Im raped and become pregnant, I have not consented to pregnancy. Therefore, the fetus/baby whether its a human or not, does not have my consent to be in my body, and I'd have every right to terminate. Whether or not I would, who knows, I wouldn't dare say unless I was, God forbid, in the situation.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 2:07 PM


Amanda,

Thanks for clarifying. I just have a hard time reconciling the "It's a human" with "doesn't matter"...obviously. lol

It just seems that if it's a human then it is every bit as vulnerable as the children you help in Africa. Different location, same threat.

Posted by: mk at March 31, 2008 2:14 PM


Amanda - From what I read about the connection of Malaria and HIV is that if you have one you are ??(number depends on who is reporting) times likely to contract the other because of the immunity suppression both diseases cause, but that still doesn't really explain a "connection".

Posted by: valerie at March 31, 2008 2:54 PM


Edyt:

"Valerie, you don't understand the First Amendment, so how the hell can anyone take you seriously when you post statistics from the CDC? "

HAHAHAHAAHAHAHA you're funny.

First of all, I quoted from the CIA not the CDC. Good try though. Did you ever check out that whole comprehension thing?

Second - To show my understanding of the first amendment I quoted from the National Association of Broadcasters, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Society of Professional Journalists among others. Who did you quote from again to show that journalist do not do investigations to get their stories?

Third - Are you trying to say that when I "quote" statistics from the CDC it is wrong even though it is "quoted" from them? Isn't that saying you believe the CDC to be wrong? Why don't you explain to me how you write a story based around statistics from a reputable and respected organization and somehow your "quotes" are wrong? Especially when the "quotes" are properly noted?

Posted by: valerie at March 31, 2008 3:03 PM


1. Granted, you're right, it was a typo in my case.

2. I quoted from Mass Media Law by Pember/Calvert. If you're really interested in media law and the Constitutional rights and limitations of the press, you can buy it here.

Ultimately, you tried to say investigating was constitutionally protected by the First Amendment, and I proved that the First Amendment gives the right to publish but not to investigate, something you still seem to misunderstand.

3. It's not the quote that's wrong, it's your interpretation. That's the point I was getting at. That even though you can reliably look up information and quote information, you still do not understand the basics of the information therefore rendering your point null.

Posted by: Edyt at March 31, 2008 3:28 PM


Valerie -

It would make sense that a person with a weakened immune system is more likely to DIE of Malaria - but I don't know how it could make a difference in the proportion of people who are SICK with it. And it couldn't be logically connected vis versa (having Malaria would not make someone MORE prone to HIV).

What was brought up at the conference is that its possible that the correlation is coming from clinic reporting. HIV can go unnoticed for YEARS, whereas Malaria outbreaks in villages are basically impossible to miss as they lead to deaths in the infant and elderly populations within days. If a Malaria outbreak occurs in a given population and an NGO or clinic addresses it, that increases the chances that those same patients will be tested for HIV.

So in a year with a high malaria pandemic, its natural to conclude that more people will be recieving medical attention that could ultimately result in postive HIV tests. And at the same time, if HIV rates are up, that more people who catch malaria would die from it rather than recovering.

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 3:48 PM


Jill, how dare you insult the Almighty Condom?! You'll be stricken with divine punishment from the Great Rubber in the sky. Holy, Holy, Holy Condom. Forgive the unbelievers...

/pro-abort

Posted by: John Lewandowski at March 31, 2008 5:12 PM


"Amanda,

Thanks for clarifying. I just have a hard time reconciling the "It's a human" with "doesn't matter"...obviously. lol

It just seems that if it's a human then it is every bit as vulnerable as the children you help in Africa. Different location, same threat."

Great question MK.....we're waiting for Amanda's response...

Posted by: Jasper at March 31, 2008 6:21 PM


Edyt:

1. Gee...you acknowlege when you do it, and believe I am suppose to understand. But goodness knows I can't accidently write freedom of press when almost everyone else understood that I was referring to freedom of expression but just said "press" because that is what we were talking about.

2. *sigh* I'm not sure how many times I can say this, and unfortunately typing slower isn't the same as talking slower. I said that the "law" gives the press the right to investigate and referred to two different cases to show this. I then said that freedom of press gives the media the right to investigate to expose a cover up. I then explained how this is a round about way of things: How would the media get the information to expose a cover up if they didn't investigate. How many other ways can I say this? You are just jumping to one sentence when there are several before and after which explains exactly what I meant. I then said that freedom of press means that our press cannot be held back or stopped from exposing a story as long as their story isn't lible. Wouldn't this mean that I understand what censorship is? You just refuse, for some reason that I do not understand, to comprehend the subject in its entirety and stop focusing on ONE sentence. I even re-posted my own statments to show what I was talking about and then posted your statments to show that you agreed with me and somehow that wasn't enough for you either.

3. Exactly how is my statistics from the CIA incorrect and how did I use them incorrectly. I just can't wait to hear this one. The conversation with Jill and Amanda was about Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya; HIV; condoms: and if Tanzania is actually having problems with HIV. I then showed from the CIA that Tanzania does indeed have a higher case rate of HIV than the other 3. I also acknowledge a suprise finding in infant mortality rate. Amanda, who is obviously well acquainted with this subject, and I then had a conversation about this and had an extrememly civil discussion whereas Amanda educated me on HIV and Malaria and their connections (Thanks Amanda!) So, exactly how did I not understand the basics of what I was quoting from.

Posted by: valerie at March 31, 2008 8:23 PM


I said that the "law" gives the press the right to investigate

Except it does not. Investigation is not protected by the Constitution. Publishing is.

Let me provide an example.

Novelists... people who write fiction... are protected by the First Amendment to publish their books. To write fiction, investigating is not necessary.

How do they get their information then?

I then said that freedom of press means that our press cannot be held back or stopped from exposing a story as long as their story isn't lible.

Which is not entirely true. The First Amendment grants publishing rights but it does not grant the freedom to investigate a story in any manner a journalist so feels he or she can.

How a journalist gets information to write the stories they publish is not protected by the Constitution. Even though it is necessary for a journalist to investigate to write a story, it is not protected by the Constitution. Early newspapers were mostly opinion-based. Today, newspapers only use opinions in editorials and personal columns. Whether a journalist uses information and research and investigating to publish such opinions is irrelevant.

The Constitution ... does not ... protect... a journalist's... right... to investigate.

(See? That's how you type slow. =P)

Posted by: Edyt at March 31, 2008 8:44 PM


So, does this mean that being a faithful condom user can help you lose weight?

Posted by: Doug at March 31, 2008 10:41 PM


http://www.martinrothonline.com/MRCC11.htm

HIV/AIDS and Christians in Africa

Africa for more than a century has been the great Christian mission field. If, like me, you belong to a church in the evangelical stream, the chances are you are helping support Christian mission activity somewhere on the continent. You probably get occasional reports from the field, detailing the challenges and successes.

Are we wasting our money?

Last week’s United Nations “Barcelona Report” on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic is devastating in its portrayal of the crisis that has engulfed sub-Saharan Africa, where a dozen countries have an adult (those aged 15 to 49) infection rate of more than 10%.

The report doesn’t have much to say about the role of religion, which is possibly just as well for those of us who are Christians. For the question needs to be asked: What has Christianity been doing as this crisis developed?

Using the Operation World Christian handbook, I have taken rates of religious adherence for each African country and placed them next to the adult HIV/AIDS rates from the Barcelona Report. What a depressing exercise.

Here are the 10 most Christian countries in Africa (according to Operation World) and their adult HIV/AIDS infection rate:

Christians (%) HIV/AIDS rate (%)

Congo (Dem. Rep.) 95.3 4.9

Equatorial Guinea 95.1 3.4

Angola 94.1 5.5

Congo 91.3 7.2

Burundi 90.1 8.3

Uganda 88.7 5.0

Zambia 85.0 21.5

Swaziland 82.7 33.4

Rwanda 80.8 8.9

Malawi 80.0 15.0

But where the figures get really depressing (for an evangelical Christian) is when you realise that in general the HIV/AIDS rate is highest in those countries where Protestants and other non-Catholic Christians predominate.

Here are the 20 most non-Catholic Christian countries in Africa and their adult HIV/AIDS infection rate:

Non-Catholic Christians (%) HIV/AIDS rate (%)

Swaziland 78.0 33.4

South Africa 65.2 20.1

Ethiopia 64.4 6.4

Namibia 64.0 22.5

Botswana 63.2 38.8

Zimbabwe 63.0 33.7

Malawi 57.1 15.0

Kenya 56.0 15.0

Ghana 53.2 3.0

Central Af. Rep. 51.7 12.9

Zambia 51.6 21.5

Congo (Dem. Rep.) 50.8 4.9

Uganda 46.7 5.0

Eritrea 43.7 2.8

Cameroon 42.5 11.8

Congo 42.0 7.2

Nigeria 39.2 5.8

Rwanda 38.2 8.9

Mozambique 36.8 13.0

Lesotho 35.8 31.0

If you are not already sufficiently depressed, look at a table for the 10 most Muslim countries in Africa:

Muslims (%) HIV/AIDS rate (%)

Somalia 100.0 1.0

Morocco 99.9 0.1

Algeria 96.7 0.1

Libya 96.5 0.2

Senegal 92.1 0.5

Gambia 88.8 1.6

Mali 87.0 1.7

Egypt 86.5 0.1

Sierra Leone 70.0 7.0

Sudan 65.0 2.6

In church we are told that one of the reasons we should support Christian missionary activity in Africa is to stop the spread of Islam. In the words of Operation World: “African Christians as well as mission agencies need to make Muslims a priority for demonstrations of the love of Christ and culturally sensitive approaches must be developed for planting churches among them.”

Yet as AIDS rips at the heart of the continent - devastating families, gutting townships, wrecking national economies, creating millions of orphans - it looks to be Islamic culture that has solutions of a sort.

Nicholas Kristof wrote a nasty article in the New York Times on Tuesday, blaming “conservative Christian pastors” particularly, for contributing to hate speech about Islam in the US. (He even managed to find two such pastors, one of them quite well-known.)

But he also wrote this:

Islam already has 1.3 billion adherents and is spreading rapidly, particularly in Africa, partly because it also has admirable qualities that anyone who has lived in the Muslim world observes: a profound egalitarianism and a lack of hierarchy that confer dignity and self-respect among believers; greater hospitality than in other societies; an institutionalized system of charity, zakat, to provide for the poor. Many West Africans, for example, see Christianity as corrupt and hierarchical and flock to Islam, which they view as democratic and inclusive.

On no young woman would I wish genital mutilation, minimal education, a life behind a veil and a husband with several wives. But what if the alternative were a husband who contracts HIV/AIDS from frequent visits to cheap prostitutes, giving his wife a painful death at age 30 and leaving behind six young children?

I simply don’t have answers. I’m no expert on HIV/AIDS or on Africa. I’m just an ordinary guy sitting in front of a computer, playing with figures on a spreadsheet. I’m sure it’s all a heck of a lot more complicated than the numbers suggest.

Yet I believe we Christians are called to be accountable for our actions, individually and as a church. And so I cannot help wondering if Christian leaders in Africa and their supporters in the West are not responsible in some measure for the crisis over there.

Two months ago I wrote a commentary about Papua New Guinea. I noted that it is, according to the Operation World handbook, the fourth-most Christian large country on earth (97.3% of the population are said to be Christian), yet it is facing an Africa-style AIDS crisis. My sarcastic conclusion then is perhaps also appropriate now:

What on earth are church leaders teaching their 97.3% flock (or is the problem all the fault of the other 2.7%)? What messages are the missionaries bringing? Should I be directing my tithes elsewhere? Or should I just sit back content in the knowledge that so many are going to heaven?

July 12th, 2002

As a result of many responses, I posted a follow-up item the next day:

HIV/AIDS in Africa

Thank you for the response to my commentary yesterday, “HIV/AIDS and Christians in Africa”, in which I noted that the African countries with the highest HIV/AIDS rates seemed to be those that also had the most Christians (and, in particular, the most non-Catholic Christians).

Jerry B. emailed a considerable amount of information about the unreliability of HIV/AIDS reporting in Africa, and provided a link to a detailed article from Rolling Stone magazine, “AIDS in Africa – In Search of the Truth”.

Instapundit wrote:

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of charts co-relating AIDS incidence with everything from language to circumcision rates.

Roth also notes that Islamic areas tend to have lower rates. This may well be true (among other things, the widespread Muslim custom of washing before and after sex may help). On the other hand, they may have lower reporting rates, for reason of stigma. (This may be true of the Catholic Christian areas, too.)

Why AIDS has spread so extensively in Africa, and why rates are so different in different parts of Africa, remains a mystery. Religion might be the explanation, but there are a lot of other candidates.

Medpundit commented:

The incidence…is more likely to be related to famine than to religion. The highest rates are in those countries whose populations are starving….None of the Muslim countries make the list. Famine is always followed by pestilence. The body can’t fend off infection when it’s emaciated, even when given drugs to help. That’s why the solution to AIDS and other diseases in places like Africa is not likely to be found in just throwing money and drugs at them.

Ted Esler provided a link to the Mission Review website, which gives access to a huge amount of material detailing the many positive initiatives being undertaken by mission organisations to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

And Nathan M. wrote:


In presenting the Gospel anywhere in the world, we have to figure out how to better present the “go and sin no more” aspects of it. There needs to be grace, but there needs to be change as well. Those looking for a high count of those saved will emphasize the first. Those looking to control…will try and force the second…. Christianity can and must hold both in balance. We needn’t wait to get our house perfectly in order before spreading the Gospel (we won't be there until we reach Heaven), but that doesn't excuse our own lack of seriousness towards God's demands.

I should say that my article was to some degree intended to be thought-provoking. I was always dubious about the accuracy of HIV/AIDS reporting.

I also wonder about the claims that certain African countries are highly Christian. The Operation World handbook does an excellent job in standardising and presenting global statistics from a myriad of sources. But many of these statistics are, to put it mildly, of dubious reliability, for a variety of reasons.

Take my own country Australia. It is said to be 67.5% Christian (based on census data), despite being a hugely secular and materialistic place, with a strong anti-Christian strain prominent in the media and throughout some other institutions. Church attendance is low, and I’d hardly call us a Christian country at all.

But let’s end on a note of optimism. The African country with the largest number of evangelical Christians is Uganda. According to Operation World, more than 40% of the population are evangelical Christians, one of the highest rates in the world. Uganda also has a low (for Africa) adult HIV/AIDS rate of just 5%.

According to Operation World:

Uganda is the first country in the world with a massive AIDS problem to…reduce the numbers of the afflicted, from possibly 25% in 1992…. Both government and churches faced up to the terrible calamity and have successfully worked to achieve this reduction.

Praise the Lord.


Posted by: TexasRed at April 1, 2008 7:10 AM


Edyt:

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Except it does not. Investigation is not protected by the Constitution. Publishing is. "

Yes, I know. I said this. YOU are the one who decided that I said investigation was aprart of the constitution. I never said that. I said the laws (publishing - I didn't use that word, I'm using your words so hopefully you will understand) give the media the right to investigate. At the beginning of our conversation you understood the legality of investigation and freedom of press subjects were two seperate things. However, after I quoted from several sources providing proof that it is legal for reporters to do investigation work you decided that I lumped these subjects together when I didn't. I even said that we were both saying the same thing when I pointed this out to you and you still didn't understand.

You said this:

"Besides ... all those top secret investigations that led to a big exposure existed because SOMEONE came out of the woodwork and told their story. "

"So I'm sorry if you think the media's role is to expose every little business nuance, but it's not and I don't really care to investigate something like that unless I'm going to see an increase in paycheck or at least some sort of recognition. "

Posted by: Edyt at March 25, 2008 1:09 PM

My response:

"Why do I believe the media should get these answers? Because it is their job. ..........." (my freedom of press statement was not here yet - left out rant about reporting being media's job)

"oh - and SOMEONE did come out of the woodwork. "

Posted by: valerie at March 25, 2008 1:26 PM

Then Amanda said:

"In all fairness Valerie, without specific mention of THIS case, no, it isn't the medias job to be investigating corporate fraud. Its their job to REPORT on it without bias."

"The media is NOT a legal authority, they do not have authority to be conducting investigations, and they certainly don't have the level of expertise needed to "answer" the questions you are demanding of them."

Posted by: Amanda at March 25, 2008 1:36 PM

Okay - now we are going to stop here and re-look at what was said.

Amanda brought up legal authority, I just said it was their job. She also said that it isn't the media's job to investigate it is the media's job to report. (hence my repeated statements on how does the media report on something without an investigation.)

Let's continue:

Then I said this (drum role please....here is the freedom of press statements)

"Acutally the laws give them legal authority to do investigative work. Sometimes the only people who can investigate a cover up is a private detective or the media - most of us would be sued if we did it. The law gives them special rights. This is why the media can get information to us without it being considered harrassment. Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate something that looks like a cover up...etc......."

"The reason for freedom of the Press was so the people can get information on stuff like this. Our press cannot be held back from getting a story...."

Posted by: valerie at March 25, 2008 1:50 PM

okay - I was generalizing. However, it really does look like I understand that freedom of press means nothing can stop the press from getting the information to the people. You see, I was under the assumption that we all knew that, so I generalized. However, if you look at all the statments and not just one you will see that I know what freedom of press is: They cannot be stopped in getting people the information (no censorship). Like in England, where the press was forced to report only what the King/Queen wanted and nothing else. Once again, my assumption that we all knew this.

Now to continue - This is when the thread went back to the whole planned parenthood topic and the questions of evil or good. We even got into talking about dogs and cats. and it wasn't even raining! After that became a conversation about NOW and that they show outrage for some topics while ignoring others.

Then you came back on and said this:

"Valerie, I don't really want to make you look bad, but you don't have a clue what the media does and how they do it.... I have to tell you that no, we do not have legal authority to do "investigative work."

"In fact, going "undercover" as a journalist is HIGHLY unethical. I even dislike the practice of quoting unnamed sources. It's a very thin line. "

"Freedom of the press is lumped into the first amendment with freedom of speech, just like everyone else. So we have the same rights everyone else does with regard to voicing our opinions."

"The press is not above the public. There are very few laws protecting the press, and those are mainly related to things like protecting unnamed sources. "

Posted by: Edyt at March 25, 2008 10:48 PM

Notice how the legality of investigation and freedom of press are two seperate subjects? Also, Your freedom of press comment to me was based only on my FIRST statment with complete disregard to my second statment which generalized and clarified my understaning.

My next post was my quotes from the US Department of Labor showing that investigation is a part of their job in repsponse to your statment: "I have to tell you that no, we do not have legal authority to do "investigative work." I was showing that it is a part of their job, therfore they do have legal authority. I also quoted from the Society of Professional Journalists showing that going undercover and using anonymous sources is indeed legal to do. I also showed other examples and also showed a form for lible insurance for reporters, showing that reporters have special privlages that the average Joe doesn't. All this info was: Posted by: valerie at March 26, 2008 11:39 AM

The conversation on the thread then turned to PAS - is it real or is it fake....

All of a sudden you were accusing me of saying that freedom of press means freedom to investigate. Also, after this, I was never able to get you back on the topic at hand. No matter how hard I tried to get you to understand that my comments were based around our conversation of the media investigating the FL PP closings and not about private companys and that it had nothing to do with contracting anything out overseas.....

I even clarified what my freedom of speech comments were about:

"for some unknown reason you took this as I was saying the publics freedom of speech is different from freedom of press. I don't recall ever saying that, so some sort of miscommunication obviously happened. I used the words freedom of press because it is the press we are discussing. Freedom of speech is, of course, freedom of press. I thought that was a given, but obviously I was wrong on that."

(okay - even I admit that above statment was quite vague, but I did clarify later)

"Where did I say freedom of press and freedom of speech are seperate? I didn't. I was pointing out that our press cannot be stopped on a story like this PP story. No one can say they cannot report on information and the press cannot get put in jail for doing so. That is it. I was keeping the idea that we were talking about PP and the press getting information as to why they closed. This idea was from the fact that this is what this thread is about and what we are discussing."

"Am I making myself clear yet? I think the problems we are having is I was keeping my ideas based on this thread, and you were thinking as the media as a whole. "

"In reality, we are both saying the same things......"

Posted by: valerie at March 27, 2008 10:05 AM

From there on out, even though I explained several times what I meant by freedom of press you kept saying that you knew what I meant and kept stating I said that investigation was a part of freedom of press. I attempted several times to let you know there was a misunderstanding, yet you just couldn't understand that....You even accused me of twisting my words around when I wasn't, You even posted a couple of my statments thinking it showed I was twisting my words, but if you read everything in its posts you will see that I wasn't saying what you accused me of saying.

Then I got tired of explaining over and over and over and over and over so I made some rude statments out of frustration and you continued to tell me what I think. Which was wrong. But you just weren't listening.

Here is the link:

www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/03/planned_parenth_32.html

I tried to put the time and date of every post so you can go back and easily find the information since there were several conversations going on at the same time. Go back and check and see if I missed anything ....

Once again. I understand. You are just too hell bent on telling me what I think when that isn't what I think.


And please explain to me how novelist have anything to do with reporters getting information on PP!!!!!!!!!!

Perfect example that you are refusing to stick to the conversation that this is about PP and reporters investigating a possible cover up.

Also, I would like for you to answer my #3 comment.


Posted by: valerie at April 1, 2008 8:35 AM


information please:

I understand that any virus is much smaller - in fact many times smaller than a sperm cell. So using a condom to block any virus (like HIV) is an obvious exercise in futility/frustration. Someone said that it is like attempting to block tennis balls with a basketball mesh ... ultimately a foolish strategy if you are wanting foolproof protection. This is fundamental science and will override ANY consideration of effectiveness of condom use to prevent pregnancy.

Is this information wrong?

Posted by: John McDonell at April 1, 2008 9:34 AM


John, yeah, it's wrong, and sadly certain people believed it, such as the late Cardinal John O’Connor and Bishop James McHugh, who was a special advisor to the Holy See Mission at the United Nations. Good grief....

http://www.condoms4life.org/facts/CondomsAndAIDS.htm

Posted by: Doug at April 1, 2008 10:28 AM


Do spermicides help kill the AIDS virus? I know relatively speaking its fairly fragile - it can only survive in a fairly limited environment.

Posted by: TexasRed at April 1, 2008 10:35 AM


TR:

Well that question is a great one! I briefly looked up information and found an article wrote in 2003 from The Public Health Agency of Canada which says:

www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/epiu-aepi/hiv-vih/nonoxynol_e.html

"The frequent use of nonoxynol-9 can induce lesions and ulcerations to genital mucosa, thereby increasing the probability of transmitting infectious agents.

While laboratory studies clearly indicated that N-9 could be an effective barrier to HIV, clinical trials in humans have produced mixed results. Several observational studies have indicated that N-9 may reduce the risk of HIV transmission, but the study design did not permit definitive conclusions.

The results showed that this gel had an adverse effect on vaginal integrity when used frequently, thus increasing women's susceptibility to HIV-1 infection. At low frequency use, nonoxynol-9 had no effect , either positive or negative, on HIV-1 infection.

Taken together, the recent evidence is convincing that frequent use of N-9 does not reduce the risk of infection by HIV, and may in fact increase the risk by causing disruptions and lesions in the genital mucosal lining. There are currently few data available to address the question of whether these results also apply to situations in which the dosage and/or frequency of N-9 use is lower. WHO has stated that Nonoxynol-9 clearly does not prevent HIV infection and may even favour infection if used frequently."

This is just a small portion of the article, but may answer your question. Honestly, this is something I never thought of.

Posted by: valerie at April 1, 2008 11:14 AM


TR -

I also found this on WebMD:

www.webmd.com/content/article/50/40570.htm

Posted by: valerie at April 1, 2008 11:16 AM


John -

The CDC agrees with what Doug posted.

I believe the confustion was in a study that showed the failure rate of condoms and then compared that to STD transmission. I don't have the info on the study, and I personally have never read it so I can't link to it. However, I have been told (by mostly bias sources) that in that study they did talk about the size of the HIV virus and the size of holes in condoms and there research on it was inconclusive.

There have been many studies that have shown that the HIV virus does get passed through and many studies that says it does not get passed through the condom. However those studies do repeatedly report the failure rate of regualar users of condoms being 12%. This means that 12 out of every 100 people is at risk to get an STD or pregnant. The laboratory studies show a failure rate between 1 - 2% but that is when the condom is used correctly every time and this just isn't what happens in reality.

So, this is why Pro-Lifers like me say that condoms do not protect against STD's (it doesn't protect at all from STD's that get transferred by skin to skin contact like some HPV strains). The failure rate is just too high and unacceptable. Telling people it *will* protect them gives a false sense of security.

Posted by: valerie at April 1, 2008 11:25 AM


@Doug,

did indeed read your link, but just so you know these people are considered as very vile and silly by Catholics. So much this is the case that espousing the direct opposite of what they promote is usually fine!

They do raise some intriguing ideas though re. the quality of the condoms used. The article does take pains to note that 'safe' condoms for HIV were latex condoms. This type of condom has not been specified as being used in Africa. If people there had to purchase them, I doubt there would be any used at all .... the Africans ARE that poor.

The quality idea has also come-up with PP condoms. They are known to be of poor quality (large failure rate) by design? - to increase abortion rate.. So what is the quality of the condoms of use in Africa vs the PP version?

Until answered, I would anticipate that monogamous sex is the 'safest' route. Is playing Russian Roulette with 3 bullets much wiser than playing with 5 bullets ... how 'safe' is 'safe' sex?

Posted by: John McDonell at April 1, 2008 11:27 AM


John - the problem in Africa is that there is a HUGE population of women who *think* they are having monogamous sex, but due to the migrant nature of a lot of the work there, their husbands are often taking advantage of the numerous prostitutes in urban areas of Africa and then returning home to their unknowing wives, who then pass it on to their children.

This is why condom distribution is SO crucial. No one is going to march in to Africa, preach about monogamy, and change the lifestyle of these men OR the prostitutes in one day. It will be, and is, a VERY gradual shift in behavior, which has begun and is slowly but surely showing positive results in some countries. But this isn't going to happen overnight, and to try to dissuade these people from wearing condoms is mind-blowingly foolish. You want to protect children? Having migrant workers and prostitutes get used to wearing condoms is preventing the virus from traveling back home to the wives and then to the children - in rural areas where HIV testing is not readily available and education is lower.

Posted by: Amanda at April 1, 2008 11:49 AM


So...the plan is...shower the country with condoms... because you can't keep an African man from his favorite prostitute...instruct them in usage and how to's and why for's and what not's...and then...when the time is right...start talking about being faithful to your wife. Got it.

Posted by: Carla at April 1, 2008 12:21 PM


*eyeroll*

yeah thats EXACTLY what I was saying....

or not even close, but okay!

keywords for the day: GRADUAL shift which has ALREADY started does not mean "when the time is right".

Posted by: Amanda at April 1, 2008 12:30 PM


Amanda,
I totally deserved the eyeroll. I was being snarky. You are a wealth of information!!! I admire that! I do!

Posted by: Carla at April 1, 2008 12:35 PM


@Amanda,

the problem is not only the one you articulate, but the nature (quality) of the replacement. The reason I say this is that many of the UN-NGO's also have a formidable hidden interest in global depopulation efforts.

Decades ago when the Sahara shifted, 60,000 souls were caught without any wells. A German industrialist decided to donate his equipment for digging wells and would even pay transport costs. He asked only that his men got paid. The bill was @$140,000. The UN offered him $250,000 to run a population program with the same people but would contribute nothing to dig those wells. Out of 60,000 only 16 survived. Now, that is population control.

In Mexico, the Philippines a decade ago ... vaccines to make women infertile were used. The women (but not the doctors) did not know of the vaccines effect. How do you know that African condoms are not poor quality, for the distinct reason assist in the spread of the HIV virus ... would be a perfect cover for population lessening efforts?

Posted by: John McDonell at April 1, 2008 12:36 PM


John -

I absolutey agree that its important to make sure the quality of the condoms being sent to Africa is top notch. Most studies on condom quality find the Durex, Lifestyles, and Trojan brands to be all about equal in % of breakages.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health-fitness/health-care/condoms-and-contraception-205/ratings/

For whatever reason, Lifestyles tends to be the brand donated most often (anywhere other than PP, its Lifestyles brand you will find in "free condom" baskets, etc), but I know that Trojan is active with several condom distribution programs as a charitable effort by the company after there were several incidents of subpar condoms being manufactured from within Africa.

When I was in Tanzania, I was very pleased to see Durex and Trojan brands available in some pharmacies for sale. The program my friend Nick is working for with prostitutes in Ethiopia uses Lifestyles.

As far as I know, PP does not sell or donate condoms to Africa.

This is an old report (from 99) and based only on stats from sex workers in Nigeria, but it does acknowledge that your concerns about condom quality are being examined.
*warning, the topics in this report are very graphic - including descriptions of sex acts and FGM*
http://www.jsieurope.org/docs/condom_quality.pdf

As far as your examples of population control, the most hideous example at the moment, which has gone completely under the radar, is Haiti. TB is literally wiping out entire villages - while the US throws away enough antibiotics in a day to treat nearly everyone with TB in Haiti. The CDC and Big Pharma are also refusing to admit to the failures of the DOTS program and address the new strains of drug resistant TB. If you're interested in this kind of thing, could I suggest getting a copy of "Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer" by Tracy Kidder. You can usually find a copy for 6 bucks or so on Amazon.com. Also can't forget to mention how the US government sterilized thousands of Puerto Rican and Native American women without informed consent. So I do acknowledge that this sort of thing happens.


Carla - Thank you. =) I hope I've made it as clear as possible that I don't think dropping condoms over Africa is going to fix AIDS or that I think the amount of solicited sex is acceptable in any way. Its just that daily life there is harder than any of us could really imagine. I was reminded of that when Elizabeth made a suggestion that Moms of hungry kids could "find a garbage can". The solutions that seem like common sense to us often just don't exist there.

My driver when I was down there, a very talkitive guy named Twa, was a year younger than me, with a wife and 3 kids in a small village outside of Arusha, which is a full day's drive from Dar Es Salaam. He started working as a taxi driver in Dar when he was 18 and taught himself English. Being fluent in English opens the door to the tourism industry, which allowed him to eventually make enough money to buy his own van. Most of the jobs he is hired for are in Dar though, and gas prices prevent him from going home even when he has several days off. He wires his wife money. She walks several hours from her village to the nearest bank.

He gets lonely. He never told me outright that he solicited sex, and maybe he never has. But if you imagine how common his lifestyle is, and that he can't just pick up a phone and call his wife to talk when he's lonely or spend a night with his feet on the coffee table watching TV, you can see where the temptation factor is there compared to here... and even here in America, stats show that 1 in 5 men cheat on their wives - we just don't have the same HIV prevalence for it to become a health problem more than a marital problem.

Posted by: Amanda at April 1, 2008 2:44 PM


John:

"Until answered, I would anticipate that monogamous sex is the 'safest' route. Is playing Russian Roulette with 3 bullets much wiser than playing with 5 bullets ... how 'safe' is 'safe' sex?"

That deserved to be reposted. Excellent point!

Amanda -

I read a Time Magazine article in 1999 (the only reason I remember the year was because it was when I met my hubby). The article was talking about what you described. That the men had to travel to get work, would visit prostitutes, and then go back to their wives. Here's what really got me - it was described as being part of their "culture" and the men were "expected" to do it. Some of the men interviewed even talked about feeling they had to or they wouldn't be a "man". It is amazing what forms of peer pressure can do.

Also, it had in there that it was legal for a man to throw his wife and children out of the house if she questioned him too much or made accusations of his sexual life outside the home. I wish I could remember exactly where in Africa this was. These women then were not allowed to get jobs because they had no "man" that could be paid - the hubby's would get the paycheck for his wives work. They would have no choice but to work on the streets. Many of them tried to sell themselves as a domestic for the rich, but there were so many women and so few rich (usually british). So, it was a loose loose situation for these women. If they stayed with their hubby they could get AIDS because of his infedelity and if she questioned him or left him she was stuck on the streets with her kids with minimal ways to make money - the only way to guarentee money was to be a prostitute which guarentees getting AIDS.

I remember I had to read the article in spurts because I kept crying - it was so horrible. The plan at that time was to try to get the culture changed and then work on everything else. The "expert" said it was useless to throw money at the situation if the culture was the true disease and the STD's just the side affect.

I can even remember the pictures in that article, that is how much it affected me. I'm wondering if you saw anything like that? I've always wondered if they were able to start to get the culture to turn around and get women some rights. I check Time magazine when I can to see if they ever did a follow-up but I haven't found it if they did.

Posted by: valerie at April 1, 2008 2:51 PM


Amanda,
This is a totally serious question. I once read somewhere that men with AIDS believe that having sex with a virgin will cure them. So they continue to infect young girls. Ever heard of that?

My family supports two children in Haiti through Compassion International. Very dear to my heart.

I have a hard time thinking that men simply cannot go without sex. Lonely, Schmonely. We are not animals. Self control, people. Just venting. :)

Posted by: Carla at April 1, 2008 2:53 PM


Sorry. This is not a sex problem. It is a lust problem.

Posted by: Carla at April 1, 2008 2:55 PM


Just for fun...

A picture of me with Twa and 2 other men who guided us through a large spice plantation in Zanzibar to the small village in the middle.

And a picture of the kids coming out of their school to wave and check us out when we finally arrived.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30098960&l=7c8a8&id=195101317

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30098950&l=198f8&id=195101317

Posted by: Amanda at April 1, 2008 3:00 PM


What beautiful people!!! I bet you made some wonderful friends!!

Posted by: Carla at April 1, 2008 3:05 PM


Valerie -

I read the same article. It was focused primarily on the Southern African countries where the epidemic is the worst (South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe).

But thats exactly what I'm trying to explain when I say these billboards are a bad idea. That lifestyle is older than AIDS, and older than the days of condom distribution programs. People haven't started doing that because they think condoms are going to protect them - it had been going on LONG before this was an issue.

In fact, one of the components of Steve Biko's "Black Conciousness" movement encouraged black men to stop this behavior, and that was back in the 70s - again, long before AIDS and condom handouts.

As depressing as it is to me that it takes a plague to make people stop and examine their actions, it IS starting to sink in. Most of the NGO's work a lot with social education - they're not just handing out condoms and saying "go have fun boys and girls!!" But when you know this is an engrained part of their culture thats not going to change over night, and a huge number of HIV cases are babies getting it from their moms breast milk, if a condom can even have a chance of preventing that, its worth it, no?

I think a decent comparison is how our generation is the first to grow up wearing sunscreen. Most of our parents were sun worshippers and sought after a great tan - it was part of our culture and part of our paradigm of what beauty is. Finding out it can cause cancer did not lead to every single person suddenly wearing sunscreen any time they went to the beach. Some people did. Plenty of others didn't. Some got skin cancer and maybe died from it, others were luckier. Sunscreen offers protection from sun damage, but its not a 100% promise you won't get skin cancer if you spend the entire day at the beach. That doesn't mean we should never go outside and enjoy the beach. It means we should be smart and educated about it, and utilize the best protection available. I grew up with putting on sunscreen before I went to the beach being a habit. My kids will learn the same. And slowly but surely, I'm sure being SUPERDUPERTAN will stop being such a trendy thing. In the mean time, we continue funding public education on how to identify pre-cancerous moles, etc... because we want to do our best to protect people even if they choose not to use the most effective methods to protect themselves.

Posted by: Amanda at April 1, 2008 3:22 PM


but just so you know these people are considered as very vile and silly by Catholics.

John, "these people" are just telling the truth, straight from the CDC. Gasp, how horrible, huh? I really doubt Catholics in general see that as vile, etc.

Nobody is saying that condoms are infallible - that doesn't pan out, no matter where we look. And some condoms will be better than others, no doubt.

Posted by: Doug at April 1, 2008 4:54 PM


Amanda, great posts and pictures - truly a different part of the world.

Posted by: Doug at April 1, 2008 4:58 PM


@Doug,

its really hard to write in such a way that you will understand. Most of the 'education' in NA values are very warped, but inside our culture it seems to make a kind-of-sense.

Amanda seems to think sunscreen is the problem to skin cancer. (It may in fact cause more cancer than before.) The problem occurs mainly because the essential fatty acids are manipulated in our North American modern food supply. The sun's rays are likely beneficial. Her perception is at least 20 years outdated.


The CDC told people that John-Paul II was in fact causing the death of millions by teaching abstinence vs condoms. If to me you wish to change a culture you do it with drawing people by love, rather than scaring them to behave rightly.

We all know how effective telling folks they are going-to-hell is? And giving everyone the right to bear arms make for a safer society or one that will shoot first and ask questions later? Are we learning not to trust?

I told PiP some time ago that evolution theory is problematic. The reason this is so is because evolution assumes determination. Just where is freedom?

A large aspect of being finite is that we are too often wrong. The poblem with many North American NGO's is that their 'rightness' trumps everything else. For instance, you deride your father-in-law and attempt to make him look childish. Will such behavior enhance the relationship with your wife? The CDC did this same thing with J-P II. Should they be appreciated or be rejected s 'vile'?

Posted by: John McDonell at April 1, 2008 6:59 PM


Amanda seems to think sunscreen is the problem to skin cancer. (It may in fact cause more cancer than before.) The problem occurs mainly because the essential fatty acids are manipulated in our North American modern food supply. The sun's rays are likely beneficial. Her perception is at least 20 years outdated.

She provided that anecdote as an example to illustrate her point, not to comment on the current state of skin cancer or sun damage or sunscreen.


The CDC told people that John-Paul II was in fact causing the death of millions by teaching abstinence vs condoms. If to me you wish to change a culture you do it with drawing people by love, rather than scaring them to behave rightly.

On the contrary, the Catholic church has long used fear as a scare tactic. During British colonization, many missionaries used scare tactics to convert the "heathens" to various religions. The Spanish Inquisition scared people into believing certain things... Hell, even the Holocaust was a pretty big example of Christians asserting their dominance over Jews.

We all know how effective telling folks they are going-to-hell is? And giving everyone the right to bear arms make for a safer society or one that will shoot first and ask questions later? Are we learning not to trust?

Right, it's very effective, especially on uneducated, impressionable people, such as children.

We don't trust. We never have trusted. We always do shoot first and ask questions later. Such is the nature of the world.

I told PiP some time ago that evolution theory is problematic. The reason this is so is because evolution assumes determination. Just where is freedom?

Science does not attempt to assert ideological truths. It merely explains the world we live in through calculations and experimentation. "Why do some people have brown hair?" can be answered through the study of genetics. However, that answer does not come with the subsequent opinion: "Brown-haired people are evil." That is not the goal of science.

A large aspect of being finite is that we are too often wrong. The poblem with many North American NGO's is that their 'rightness' trumps everything else. For instance, you deride your father-in-law and attempt to make him look childish. Will such behavior enhance the relationship with your wife? The CDC did this same thing with J-P II. Should they be appreciated or be rejected s 'vile'?

I partly agree with you here. It is a problem when we attempt to push unfounded beliefs on other cultures we have not attempted to understand ourselves.

However, I do not believe the CDC was trying to form a longstanding relationship with the pope. The CDC most likely was trying to help save lives by condemning the actions of the pope and trying to push accurate information rather than judgments on sex.

Posted by: Edyt at April 1, 2008 8:20 PM


Valerie:

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now now, no need to lose your wits.

Okay, I want to add again, there are no laws, not even the Constitution, which protect a journalist's right to investigate. Whenever journalists have attempted to bend the rules, courts have ruled against the journalist's choice to go undercover or seek out information through illegal means. I'm not saying there aren't methods, but honestly, truly and to the best of my ability, I'm trying to tell you that the common person can do the same thing a journalist can. Journalists are common people.They're not given special protection like police officers or CIA officials.

Yes, it's legal for journalists to investigate. But be clear ... anyone can investigate. Not just journalists.

Maybe I got confused because you kept saying "freedom to investigate" and I though you were referring to the rights listed within the Constitution. Either way, I'm sorry for all the confusion, but all I've been trying to say all along is that journalists don't have special rights or powers or freedoms that any other person has. The only thing a journalist really has going for him or her is a long history of learning how to investigate, how to handle a libel case, how to protect sources, and other journalism-relevant topics.

Similarly, a businessperson would have the history of knowing economics. But that doesn't mean the common person couldn't also learn economics and also own a business.

Does that make sense?

Okay, next statement: How the media reports on something:

Not every newspaper article is an investigation, and the media, though it does report on issues and events and investigations, may let many issues pass through the cracks if they're unaware. From working in newsrooms, I've learned that it's usually a small bubble... we quickly gain sources from who to get information, we follow certain "beats" (like a science reporter will cover science topics but not hard news), and we get press releases.

Many of our "breaking news" stories are acquired through a tip. For example, I doubt that "fetus found on plane" story was brought up by the airlines. Why would they want a story like that out in public? A reporter probably got tipped off by someone, and then other news reporters heard about the story and also sought out information on the subject.

For the most part, the media is not the first place where the news has been discovered or leaked. However, the media is the first to make it public, making it SEEM like they did a lot more work than they truly did.

As another example, the media often publicizes new studies on human or animal behavior. The media does not conduct these behavioral studies, it merely takes the results and publishes them in an easy-to-understand manner (we try to write at a 6th grade reading comprehension level) so that the common person can learn about the behavior of humans and animals without having to be a behavioral scientist.

Reporting information doesn't always take first-hand information. When someone is tipped off to information, the journalist tries to verify it, but often (shamefully) the tip is published anyway without verification. Amanda was right in saying it's not the media's job to investigate, it's the media's job to report. That's accurate. That's what we do.

However, if you look at all the statments and not just one you will see that I know what freedom of press is: They cannot be stopped in getting people the information (no censorship).

I'm trying to see that in your two statements here:

"Acutally the laws give them legal authority to do investigative work. Sometimes the only people who can investigate a cover up is a private detective or the media - most of us would be sued if we did it. The law gives them special rights. This is why the media can get information to us without it being considered harrassment. Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate something that looks like a cover up...etc......."

"The reason for freedom of the Press was so the people can get information on stuff like this. Our press cannot be held back from getting a story...."

Check out some of the bolded statements which threw me off in the original argument.

1. The only people who can investigate are private detectives and the media.

I think I proved that anyone can investigate up to a certain point; it is the private/public detectives who can go above the law.

2. The law gives them special rights.

Like I've said before, it does not.

3. Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate.

There... there is where it seems you misunderstand what the First Amendment is about. You say you were generalizing, but you clearly said in the next statement:

4. The press cannot be held back from getting a story.

Which implies the means a reporter uses to investigate will be protected by law. Which is simply not true.

You later said: They cannot be stopped in getting people the information (no censorship).

Valerie, be honest. That's not what you were saying in those statements at all.

Moving on...

Notice how the legality of investigation and freedom of press are two seperate subjects? Also, Your freedom of press comment to me was based only on my FIRST statment with complete disregard to my second statment which generalized and clarified my understaning.

Well, maybe it clarified your understanding, but I was under the impression you didn't understand how the legality of investigation and freedom of the press ARE two separate subjects. So I don't feel I understood at all. I apologize.

Your quotes saying journalists can investigate and not quote sources and such... is true. But again, I was arguing that any person can do it and be protected by the law. There are no laws unique to journalists protecting their rights to investigate and report. Like I said, the libel insurance did not prove your point, because it could have applied to freelancers but I wasn't entirely sure. Likewise, I said that just because someone is covered by flood insurance doesn't mean a flood won't happen. It just means there will be money on reserve just in case. (To simplify: just because a journalist has insurance doesn't mean they're protected by the law, it only means someone will back them up if something goes wrong.)

We were talking about laws in the first place, and you seem to keep trying to find reasons why journalists have special protections. They don't.

Moving on...

I'm not even going to address the next few statements of yours because if you really go back and read the thread, you'll see where you shifted your view, or at least the terms you used. Remember earlier when you said "Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate"?

When you said that, I assumed you meant the press has more freedoms than the common man to do things like investigations, thus separating freedom of speech from freedom of the press. So yes, that must have been a miscommunication of sorts, but surely you can see how that might happen ...

From there on out, even though I explained several times what I meant by freedom of press you kept saying that you knew what I meant and kept stating I said that investigation was a part of freedom of press.

Why would I think that Valerie? Is it perhaps, because YOU SAID IT?!

And please explain to me how novelist have anything to do with reporters getting information on PP!!!!!!!!!!

I was explaining that the First Amendment means that anyone can publish information, including novelists. You asserted that freedom of the press meant freedom to investigate, and when I clarified that freedom of the press was freedom to publish, not to investigate, I added on that novelists don't have to investigate to publish, and investigation is not protected by any law, particularly the Constitution.

It all makes sense when you reread what you yourself wrote: "Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate" which is the root of all this trouble.

Perfect example that you are refusing to stick to the conversation that this is about PP and reporters investigating a possible cover up.

I never said I was talking about PP. I started off the discussion by saying the media is not obligated to report on whatever pro-lifers decide they should report about. You are the one who wanted to talk about PP, but I did not mention anything to the effect that I was talking about the case at hand, except in my first post when I said it might have been a non-issue. But throughout the entire thread, I maintained that I was talking about the press in general, not PP. You didn't mention at all toward the beginning of our discussion that you were talking about PP either. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

Also, I would like for you to answer my #3 comment.

Nah, I was just trying to rile you up. :P Sorry.

Posted by: Edyt at April 1, 2008 9:16 PM


So perhaps instead of donating money for ridiculous billboards, you'd rather spend that money on getting food to these people?

Posted by: Amanda at March 31, 2008 12:15 PM

Why can't people do both? Why does it have to be an either/or?

Anna B.

Posted by: Anna B. at April 1, 2008 11:05 PM


John M: its really hard to write in such a way that you will understand. Most of the 'education' in NA values are very warped, but inside our culture it seems to make a kind-of-sense.

John, I, as I think everybody here, has a problem understanding you at times. I stand in awe of your knowledge of nutrition and the attending chemistry, but also think you like conspiracy theories and that you're awful eager to believe stuff about "energy from the vacuum" and that which essentially boils down to "viruses will go right through condoms."
......

The CDC told people that John-Paul II was in fact causing the death of millions by teaching abstinence vs condoms. If to me you wish to change a culture you do it with drawing people by love, rather than scaring them to behave rightly.

Have to laugh - man, you talk about trying to "scare people to alter their behavior" - that's the Catholic Church and many other churches throughout history. To this day it goes on. I don't know if what you said was true - that they really said the Pope was causing millions to die. However, this stuff that Cardinal O'Connor and Bishop McHugh were saying was crap, plain and simple.
......

We all know how effective telling folks they are going-to-hell is? And giving everyone the right to bear arms make for a safer society or one that will shoot first and ask questions later? Are we learning not to trust?

I'm for trusting the pregnant woman to know what is best for her. "The right to bear arms" - without it, we become vulnerable to gov't. With it, and with as much of a gun culture as we have in the US, I'm not sure which is worse, to be honest. Lots of tradgedies from people having guns, to be sure. The flip side is that in the US, 2/3 of the instances of armed people stopping crimes involves not the policed or other authorities but ordinary armed citizens. I'd say that here the genie can't be stuffed back in the bottle.
......

I told PiP some time ago that evolution theory is problematic. The reason this is so is because evolution assumes determination. Just where is freedom?

I'd say that if one's genes are going to mutate, be it because instability is coded right into the DNA, or because a supreme being wills it, or because of environmental influence, one doesn't have much if any freedom, there. It just happens.
......

A large aspect of being finite is that we are too often wrong. The poblem with many North American NGO's is that their 'rightness' trumps everything else. For instance, you deride your father-in-law and attempt to make him look childish. Will such behavior enhance the relationship with your wife?

No, my father-in-law is already so widely known as childish that I could do nothing but lose with my wife, there. It'd be picking on him without sufficient reason, just stirring things up at best. As far as right/wrong, the Cardinal and the Bishop were wrong, and the CDC was right.
......

The CDC did this same thing with J-P II. Should they be appreciated or be rejected s 'vile'?

The vileness is cloaking such harmful and foolish statements in the guise of "religious teachings" or, worse, yet, in the supposed "infallibility" of the Pope, if the Pope had any part in this "condoms don't stop viruses" baloney. Where did you actually see that the CDC actually defamed the Pope?

Doug

Posted by: Doug at April 2, 2008 12:11 AM


"The reason this is so is because evolution assumes determination."

It asserts facts, not "truth." I've said this numerous times. When you talk about "freedom" in the philosophical sense, it would be time to go into a philosophical discussion, not a scientific one.

Posted by: prettyinpink at April 2, 2008 8:36 AM


@Doug & Edyt,

I am having some trouble comprehending your answers as you no doubt have trouble comprehending my thoughts. So let's begin like this:

Edyt said there is no trust ... the nature of trust makes it absolutely pivotal in any society and any family. It is not only the key for relationships, it is also the 'biggy' for self-determination. Because if one cannot trust oneself, ....

Since this in so integral, let's look at just a few implications ... if people do not trust the information in the media.... Do we learn to not trust? Is this good? If (as in the case with Terri Shiavo news seemed to be written in a way that convicted Terry to death) ... so what? Can I trust my science texts? Or, am I to approach science and moral questions with the same certitude as weather forecasting?

The Church never claimed to be any kind of science organization, nor in fact is the CDC. And the UN's role is dubious ... Doug says I have conspiracy theory on the brain - FACT I - Ted Turner did award the UN $4 billions. FACT 2 - Ted turner has taught that our present human population is far too high and should be reduced by 95% ... Doug labels this 'conspiracy theory' and I call it connecting-the-dots.

So we're left with the chemistry of a membrane and its porous nature. There is NOT any kind of perfect sealant. Everything can be penetrated by something. In the case of condoms: these were designed to block semen. So they had to be of a material that disallowed semen. But the HI virus is by comparison) many times smaller than sperm cells. So do these block this virus ... the latex ones do .... the CDC info. Are then latex condoms the kind being used in Africa? Yes, according to Amanda.

So what is the moral objection here? Because I define a human being as someone with freedom and integrity, the use of artificial means draws all sorts of concerns ... sports doping is but one example. Words can be manipulated to say both freedom and integrity are expressed in both suicide (euthanasia) and mass murder (genocide). This is not the space I wish my head to be in. Can't even trust death to be the-end-of-it .... all that I can really hope is that life is the beginning.

Posted by: John McDonell at April 2, 2008 10:08 AM


Edyt:

There is so much to say...so little time.

"I want to add again, there are no laws, not even the Constitution, which protect a journalist's right to investigate. "

Sheild Laws are just one example that reporters have special laws put in place to protect them. Sheild laws do not protect the average citizen. However, they do protect the information the reporters get through an investigation. Hence, protecting the investigation itself. Most reporters wouldn't go in depth with their investigation if they didn't have this to fall back on. I found the California shield law description:

www.thefirstamendment.org/shieldlaw.html

That webpage also discusses "The reporters Privilege" which obviously isn't meant for the average person. The reporters privilege comes into affect if the Shield law doesn't protect the reporter.

"But be clear ... anyone can investigate. Not just journalists. "

Yes, said it 9,412 times. The average Joe can investigate however the average Joe doesn't have the means to publish nor the time.

"Valerie, be honest. That's not what you were saying in those statements at all. "

I am being honest...that is exactly what I was saying. Once again, I was assuming you were reading all statements.

and now for the big "Oi!"

"I'm not even going to address the next few statements of yours because if you really go back and read the thread, you'll see where you shifted your view, or at least the terms you used."

ug.....when it is obvious that someone isn't understand what you are saying - especially over the computer which is a much harder venue for discussion - most people do use different terminologies and different tactics to attempt to make themselves clear. That is all I was doing. You just kept sticking to certain sentences even though I attempted to clarify the meaning.

"Why would I think that Valerie? Is it perhaps, because YOU SAID IT?! "

No, you interpreted my statements as such and when I tried to correct my statement because I obviously hadn't made myself clear and choose poor wording you kept insisting that it is what I was saying. Can't a person correct a misunderstanding? Which is exactly what this was and exactly what I have been saying. Again, I'm choosing different terminology in an attempt to make myself clear.

"It all makes sense when you reread what you yourself wrote: "

my words:

"Acutally the laws give them legal authority to do investigative work. Sometimes the only people who can investigate a cover up is a private detective or the media - most of us would be sued if we did it. The law gives them special rights. This is why the media can get information to us without it being considered harrassment. Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate something that looks like a cover up...etc......."

"The reason for freedom of the Press was so the people can get information on stuff like this. Our press cannot be held back from getting a story...."

This is why I made the "comprehension" remark. Read everything in its entirety and not just picking out certain words and phrases and you will see what I was saying. Yes, my wording was poor and I even admitted that, however I do believe that once I corrected the misunderstanding this should have been clear.

"I never said I was talking about PP."

huh? The title of the thread we were discussing was: "Planned Parenthood closes 5 FL clinics over $ shenanigans"

Hello? The entire conversaton started because I accused the media of not covering the PP story like they should. I provided information about the two NJ non-PP clinics that got exposed, but the media isn't exposing PP. That is how this all started!!!!! PP was the subject and how the conversation started!!! You can't say that you were not discussing PP!!

YOUR STATEMENTS:

"I'm sorry, but the media doesn't make enough money to become your own personal investigators and pro-life advocates. "

That was the response to my comments about reporting the PP closings.

"And there is NO point in writing more than a short blurb about the PPs closing. "

"You want to know why they're closing? Why don't YOU call PP yourself!? "

You weren't talking about PP...??? Really?

I said: ""Why do I believe the media should get these answers? Because it is their job. "

"these" answers. If we weren't talking about something specific why would I have said that? There were obviously specific questions that I wanted answers to and those questions were on the PP closing. I don't know how much more obvious this could be that I was discussing PP!!

I even said:

"Let's review: (not being rude, just obvious that something is way off track here)

I said that the media should get the information as to why PP closed. "

"umm....I don't believe that I am wrong on this, we are discussing a public, nonprofit organization that receives tax money. Where did this get switched to a private company? "

"I was pointing out that our press cannot be stopped on a story like this PP story. No one can say they cannot report on information and the press cannot get put in jail for doing so. That is it. I was keeping the idea that we were talking about PP and the press getting information as to why they closed. This idea was from the fact that this is what this thread is about and what we are discussing."

"Am I making myself clear yet? I think the problems we are having is I was keeping my ideas based on this thread, and you were thinking as the media as a whole.

In reality, we are both saying the same things......"


How much more clearer could I have made it?

"You didn't mention at all toward the beginning of our discussion that you were talking about PP either. "

THAT IS WHAT THE THREAD WAS ABOUT! THAT IS WHAT WE WERE DISCUSSING. GETTING INFORMATION ON THE PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLOSING! How could I not have mentioned it when that is what the entire conversation was about....the media not reporting the PP closings? That is how the whole media conversation came up! Give me a break!

"Nah, I was just trying to rile you up. :P Sorry. "

Yea, I know. That is why I tried to nail you on it. I guess I'm sorry about that too.

;-)

okay - I am not going to be able to get back on for awhile. I've got alot of speech therapy to do with my daughter. If you respond to this, I just wanted to let you know. If you want, you could e-mail me your response if you want me to respond.

There is alot of responding going on around here isn't there?


Posted by: valerie at April 2, 2008 10:23 AM


@PiP,

tell me how 'survival of the fittest' is only science and is not philosophical. Does this suppose/impose 'direction'? Does a free being follow this?

Posted by: John McDonell at April 2, 2008 11:46 AM


John: Doug says I have conspiracy theory on the brain - FACT I - Ted Turner did award the UN $4 billions. FACT 2 - Ted turner has taught that our present human population is far too high and should be reduced by 95% ... Doug labels this 'conspiracy theory' and I call it connecting-the-dots.

No, John, I was talking about other stuff.
......

Edyt said there is no trust ... the nature of trust makes it absolutely pivotal in any society and any family. It is not only the key for relationships, it is also the 'biggy' for self-determination. Because if one cannot trust oneself, ....

Since this in so integral, let's look at just a few implications ... if people do not trust the information in the media.... Do we learn to not trust? Is this good? If (as in the case with Terri Shiavo news seemed to be written in a way that convicted Terry to death) ... so what? Can I trust my science texts? Or, am I to approach science and moral questions with the same certitude as weather forecasting?

Well, people trust the media to varying degrees. We learn both to trust and not to trust, also by varying degree. My feeling is that it's good when we can trust.

The Schiavo case has conflicting things, the autopsy versus the opinion of some doctors and some of the family, for example, and there people tend to trust the information and opinions that supports their view of the situation in the first place.

Posted by: Doug at April 2, 2008 12:11 PM


all that I can really hope is that life is the beginning.

John, I can understand that. I think that lots and lots of people feel that way.

Posted by: Doug at April 2, 2008 12:13 PM


"Acutally the laws give them legal authority to do investigative work. Sometimes the only people who can investigate a cover up is a private detective or the media - most of us would be sued if we did it. The law gives them special rights. This is why the media can get information to us without it being considered harrassment. Freedom of the press means they have freedom to investigate something that looks like a cover up...etc......."

"The reason for freedom of the Press was so the people can get information on stuff like this. Our press cannot be held back from getting a story...."

This is why I made the "comprehension" remark. Read everything in its entirety and not just picking out certain words and phrases and you will see what I was saying. Yes, my wording was poor and I even admitted that, however I do believe that once I corrected the misunderstanding this should have been clear.

I do keep trying to reread this in its "entirety" but what I see is that you think the media has special rights, freedom of the press exists so the media can investigate, and the reason for freedom of the press was so that people could get information like this. All three points which are wrong and which I have corrected several times.

I refuse to apologize anymore for misunderstanding you when you specifically say things that are wrong. It's not that I "misinterpreted" you or didn't quite see the bigger picture or had comprehension problems. When you use words incorrectly and insinuate a different meaning, then it is YOUR fault for not communicating properly.

1. The average person can do anything anyone else can. Shield laws will protect them too if they say they were acting under intent to publish as a journalist. Okay? Shield laws are not in place to help anyone investigate, they are in place to protect the identity of a source who could lose their job, their reputation, or be jailed or whatever, if they are identified. Again, this isn't a law that is protecting a journalist, it's a law that is protecting sources.

Also, there is no federal shield law, and they vary from state to state. It's really not much of a privilege at all. The reason there is no federal shield law is because people are afraid it will give extra privileges to journalists! So they don't do it because ANYONE can be a journalist.

Now, please please stop going down this line of argument because anyone can be a journalist and anyone can be protected under the same rights. The so-called "reporter's privilege" is a protection of citizens. NOT REPORTERS.

2. Freedom of press does not exist so the press can investigate. (It exists so they can publish. End of story)

3. The reason for freedom of the press was so that people could not be censored, not so that the public could be privy to information.

Like I said, the reason for freedom of the press was so that people could publish opinion, which they earlier could not do. Later on the press changed and became more news-based.

No one can say they cannot report on information and the press cannot get put in jail for doing so.

Wrong. Google the words "reporters" and "jail" and look at the list of stories that pop up about reporters being put in jail because those shield laws didn't protect them.

This is a pretty good article about shield laws and whether reporters are above the law...

I'm really at a loss with you Valerie. If you cannot see where YOU miscommunicated and where you said things that were flat out wrong, then you are a totally hopeless cause and I will not repeat myself over and over again in hopes that you someday understand.

Posted by: Edyt at April 2, 2008 1:57 PM


This is just a small portion of the article, but may answer your question. Honestly, this is something I never thought of.

Posted by: valerie at April 1, 2008 11:14 AM
******************
A lot of condoms have spermicide in them - so its not really inserted into the woman ... hmmm ... need to read up on that some more - thanks for the info

Posted by: TexasRed at April 2, 2008 2:34 PM


I've been skimming these comments and like what I'm seeing- lots of research being done, and lots of people of different beliefs agreeing on some things. I'll make my points brief:
1) Condoms are not perfect, but they dramatically reduce AIDS transmission. Scaring people away from them is the most horrible, counter-intutive thing I can think of.
2) I'm so sick of people commenting on Planned Parenthood's supposedly HUGE monetary gains from 'encouraging' abortion. I forgot who said it up there, but the condom malfunctions a couple years back was a manufacturing error, not some ploy to increase the number of abortions sought. RIDICULOUS! Have you ever been to a Planned Parenthood clinic? You will find kind people, understanding people, people who restore your dignity and treat you with respect whether you're dealing with the biggest decision of your life or just getting a simple check up. Believe it or not, there AREN'T huge signs saying "YAY ABORTION!" and the people behind the reception desk aren't greedy corporate fools, eyes glowing with greed. Abortion is 10% of PP's services- tell me, now, how monetary gains from that 10% could possibly keep a business afloat? Thus, why would they bank on it by trying to make people have abortions? Silliness.
3) Amanda, you seem to have had an incredibly enlightening visit to Africa. I wish I had the guts to get on a plane that long (huge fear of flying)!

Posted by: grrrr at April 2, 2008 2:40 PM


@grrrr,

this revelation of PP tactics was a huge surprise to the pl too! It comes from a nurse who used to be in-charge of a PP abortion clinic. Yep, for years she was the manager. And her testimony stated that these faults in condoms were purposely designed to increase abortion rates. Abortions are a small part of PP services, but a huge part of the way they generate big bucks.

Posted by: John McDonell at April 3, 2008 10:24 AM


Wow. You really are a bad person.

Posted by: Eric at August 19, 2008 11:49 AM


Wow, thanks for reminding me that there is evil in the world guised as do-gooders. Faithfulness and abstinence are great things to advocate for, but why would you attack condom usage. The only effect I see this having is that people who engage in risky behavior will, maybe, take this as a way to justify not using condoms and put themselves and their partners at risk. Would you really wish harm on those who don't follow your instructions on how to lead a good life? Where's the love in that?

shameful.

Posted by: Mary F. at August 19, 2008 12:45 PM


Wow, you are a shameful, shameful cunt

Posted by: chris at August 19, 2008 1:11 PM


Pro-life?! The irony is stunning. I don't know how you sleep at night.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 19, 2008 5:58 PM


You in, in part, responsible for the deaths of many thousands of people. You may not believe this, but it remains true. And you will be judged for it.

Posted by: BobP at August 20, 2008 8:11 AM


your billboard will not stop people from having sex. however, it may stop them from using condoms. by funding this you are directly responsible for instructing people TO SPREAD HIV. you are incredibly stupid.

Posted by: Johanna at August 20, 2008 6:33 PM


also, "John McDonell",

The quality idea has also come-up with PP condoms. They are known to be of poor quality (large failure rate) by design? - to increase abortion rate.


are you kidding me? this is the most ridiculous idea. how can you believe someone would engineer this supposed 'abortion plot'? it's complete idiocy. comparable to the concept that someone would create billboards encouraging people to NOT use condoms to stop aids. this 'pro-life' genius idea is something that i find far more hateful and distasteful than abortion.

Posted by: Johanna at August 20, 2008 6:43 PM


http://mediamatters.org/items/200808210078?f=h_top

Posted by: Anonymous at August 21, 2008 9:37 PM


As a Catholic Christian I think your billboards are hateful and distasteful.

1. You are not on this earth to judge...that my friend is left to our Heavenly Father. You can spread your message of abstinence, but perhaps you could take the Bible as your example and approach people out of love.

2. If you were even half knowledgeable about public health issues in Africa you would know there is a little problem with data collection. Health systems are basically non-existent in the countries you listed. Those that do have them are not able to fully collect data on their countries due to lack of staff and resources.

3. Many people cannot afford health care in African nations (they have to pay), so they are not counted in such tables and maps.

4. Those who already have HIV cannot 'un-do' their disease. So what do you suggest for someone who obtained HIV at birth and is now married??? Condom or abstinence? For this group your billboards are ineffectual and confusing.

Please find a more constructive way to utilise your money. You and your hate mongering compatriots should break out your Bibles and read a few verses on how to LOVE and spread God's LOVE!!!

Posted by: Tiffany at August 22, 2008 11:54 AM


This is one of the most uneducated, ignorant, and naive pieces of "literature" (if you can even call it that) I have ever read. I hope to God you actually stop and face yourself one day; you are clearly absorbed in your own fear, and you're so blinded by it you can't even see it. I know taking a personal inventory of your soul and your life can be a world-shattering experience, and quite disturbing. However, it is clearly necessary if you wish you live any portion of the rest of your life with happiness and love.

Posted by: Zozer at August 22, 2008 6:50 PM


it takes a grand amount of ignorance to agree with a ad like that. to scare people from using condoms in a high risk hiv/aids country is like giving the people there hand guns and saying "have at it"....
its gross and dangerous

Posted by: simone at September 10, 2008 5:34 PM