Skip to comments.Africa Activists Want Catholics to Back Condoms
Posted on 04/17/2005 2:46:42 PM PDT by presidio9
Rose was raised as a good Catholic schoolgirl by her grandparents, but now the 18-year-old orphan survives by selling sex in a Ugandan slum with scant regard for the teachings of the church.
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Whatever the next pope says about condoms, she believes they are the only way to stop an AIDS epidemic that killed more than 2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa last year.
"I'd like to follow the Church's teachings, but with condoms you can stay safe," she said. "Maybe I'm already sick, but I don't think so. You have to survive and look for money."
The Catholic Church, along with Pentecostal churches, is growing fast in sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the most influential institutions on the continent the Church's stance on the fight against HIV/AIDS affects millions.
Some 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are already living with HIV/AIDS.
Many AIDS campaigners say the Vatican's rejection of condoms in favor of abstinence to prevent AIDS threatens to set back the fight against the disease by years, removing a vital weapon from the armory of prevention campaigns.
"The earlier the Church changes its position, the better for the fight against AIDS in the Third World," said Nwoke Anselm of AIDS Alliance Nigeria.
The condom question also confronts Catholics with a dilemma: those who defy the church hierarchy to champion condom use in the belief it will save lives run the risk of becoming pariahs within their own parishes.
Rose's native Uganda is often cited as an African success story in fighting AIDS, having cut HIV infection rates to around 6 percent of the population from 30 percent in the early 1990s.
Many Ugandans attribute President Yoweri Museveni's government's success to its early frankness about condoms in contrast to the silence of many African leaders, but ministers are increasingly emphasizing abstinence and fidelity.
While abstinence may sound fine in theory, activists say poverty forces many young people in Africa into selling sex just to survive, making it impossible for them to avoid intercourse.
Uganda's top Catholic, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, has been an outspoken critic of condoms, which he says promote immorality, and has urged youths to vow to abstain from sex before marriage.
The government says its strategy is working in a country where conservative messages resonate with the Catholic faithful, but New-York based Human Rights Watch said last month that U.S.-funded "abstinence only" programs threatened progress.
Uganda says it has long employed an A-B-C strategy -- Abstinence, Be Faithful and use Condoms -- and denies accusations it has been induced to change its emphasis to reflect religious-right values in the United States.
"Of course we realize what condoms did in the 1990s. Now we are down to around 6 percent, we feel the only way to bring down rates further is through emphasizing abstinence and fidelity," said an official at the Ministry of Health.
Catholic leaders see Africa as fertile turf for expansion due to its relatively conservative values on sex, but some activists say the church is less influential than it seems.
"People don't often listen to what they are told in church," said one AIDS campaigner in Madagascar, adding that educators should target schools, the media and parents.
Some campaigners said Catholic leaders were using the church's moral authority and enormous grass-roots presence to hinder life-saving schemes.
Umati, a family planning program in Tanzania, said 22 of its AIDS educators were barred from taking Holy Communion in one district because they were promoting condoms.
In Malawi, where AIDS kills about 10 people every hour, Mark Kambalazaza, the head of one of the capital's biggest parishes, was expelled from the Church four years ago after he criticized its stance on condoms. He started his own church, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Ministry, which drew thousands.
"The Church has got its own beliefs. Our policy is that people cannot abstain," said Malawi Health Minister Heatherwick Ntaba. "They have to use a condom because of the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is claiming a lot of lives in our country."
I have a better way than condoms to stop the transmission of AIDS, problem is, men have got to stop porking each other in the ass.
Well besides the theological issues of placing a barrier between the partners in the conjugal act, condoms provide a false sense of security since many of the cheaper ones have air holes much larger than the HIV virus. They are impermable to sperm but the virus goes right thru it.
Abstinence and monogamy - work every time they are tried.
Michael Fumento: The African AIDS myth? (Pain in the neck registration required. I suggest a trip to BugMeNot.com)
Please post this as an excertpted thread. It is an excellent article, and it appeared in yesterday's NY Post.
There is another agenda at work here, folks. This isn't about Africa, either.
In Africa, there is lots of hetero transmission of AIDS because they are not clean people and often have open sores on their bodies.
Back Jesus not condoms. The message is simple. The meaning is clear.
If someone wants to open an African drug store or a pharmacy, then they can go in and pay $9.99 for a box of 12 like everyone else has to do. I'm sick of libs acting like condoms are a right that anyone is entitled to at taxpayer expense.
Who ever whined about my comment needs to grow up. OK, I'll repeat it without the implied expletive, since someone is acting sentitive today--
CHARITY SHOULD BE SPENT ON FOOD - NOT ON SEXUAL ACTIVITY.
Am I allowed to say that?
If they don't listen to Catholic teaching about sex outside of marriage, why do they care about what Catholics teach about condoms????
It seems that during earlier depression times when poverty was much more stark, you didn't hear about morals going out the window on a widespread basis just to "survive"...
Ping to self for later pingout.
My question would be what are her options, or more to the point, why does she believe her options are so limited. She would not chose this life willingly, so I wonder if, as an orphan and a women, she had no way of supporting herself.
I was the one who complained. I agree with you, but your tone was unChristian.
I forgive thee.
Peace be onto you.
Too bad you never see this headline:
Catholics want Africans to stop having so much sex with strangers.
A penis has to breathe you know.
Have condoms made a difference among atheists?
It was on Townhall.com.
They certainly have not helped the buttsex community.
The Left wants to give Rose a condom, so she can be a whore more safely. The Right wants to give Rose a job so she doesn't have to be a whore.
Now remind me: who is that wants to address the "root causes" of poverty?
The crazy thing is...if everyone followed the teachings of the Church - AIDS would be nonexistent.
In that sense you could call the Church's teaching "progressive"
The closer we get to it the less AIDS will be a problem
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I read that Africa has vast undeveloped resources. Why aren't the African nations developing their resources? They should be the richest continent on the earth. What seems to be the problem?
Bluntly stated, and accurate. Which leads me to conclude that those who condemn the Catholic church for not promoting condoms have a different agenda than simply trying to stop the spread of AIDS. The fact is, these are people who hate religion and aren't averse to using any tactic to impugn it.
Agreed, although it depends on how you define "religion."
The "activists" in the US, largely funded by Rockefeller, Ford, and J&J Foundations, have a religion--it's called Sexicity.
Sex, any time, any place, with anyone, as often as possible.
They just don't SAY that because it's so...uhhh, Hefnerian!
Pseudo-marxist governments, military dictatorships that change weekly, Islam.. the list is long and distinguished.
The hope is the Faith is spreading like wildfire there, give it another 100 years it may the best place on Earth to live.
Condoms is, after all, primarily a birth control devise. Since AIDS has increasingly spread among black populations in the Unbited States, where condoms are readily accessible, then does it not stand to reason that the main problem is the manner and frequency of sexual intercourse?
Moral Absolutes Ping.
I've read of organizations which help women (and children) escape from prostitution. They get education, medical help, a place to live, and the children are taken care of, often in orphanages. I've read about them in Thailand, and I'm sure there are other places as well.
Instead of condoms, these poor souls need to escape from the gutter. Whether it's their "fault" or not, they need help to escape and live a peaceful life. Religious organizations would be ideal to help in this way.
People just want the Catholic Church to be destroyed, that's all. The unchangeable moral absolutes it stands for make people uncomfortable.
Let me know if you want on/off this pinglist.
Catholics want Africa Activists to Back Off
"I'd like to follow the Church's teachings, but with condoms you can stay safe," she said.
Hang the fact that fornication is not exactly on the 'DO' list....
Basic contradiction alert!!
Is the Church influential, or not influential?
You are right the problem in Africa is the large number of heterosexual transmition of aids. In fact 25% of the South African army is hiv positive.
If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
I'm afraid I can't remember where I heard this illustration, but it's a good one. If the holes in a condom were the size of a house window, sperm cells would be the size of a house. So no problem, right? Well, just one: The HIV virus would be the size of a baseball.
Additional note: Don't miss the links in post 36.
Let's take this out of the realm of sex and death, and look at it for a moment.
Let's say that I looked around and saw that after 40 years of the Great Society silliness, I see that the poor are still poor despite our best efforts. So I start telling people it's OK to steal if you're very poor. Just pick somebody rich and rob them blind.
I'll bet I'd quickly become a pariah in my church, and no number of Leftist activists crying out against the mean, nasty tenets of Christianity would change that.
Plus, trying to prevent AIDS with condoms is like having seatbelts made of spaghetti.