Catholic World News News Feature
United Nations Report says Condoms have 10% Failure Rate against AIDS June 24, 2003
The United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS) has published a draft of a study, due out at the end of the month, which shows that condoms are ineffective in protecting against HIV an estimated 10 percent of the time. The admission from the UN, which is far lower than some studies which have shown larger than 50 percent failure rates, is a blow to population control activists which have aggressively marketed condoms in the Third World as nearly 100 percent effective.
The Boston Globe , which reviewed the draft report, demonstrates the false marketing of the population control advocacy group, Population Action International (PAI). A September 2002 report, 'Condoms Count,' published by PAI, said, 'Public health experts around the globe agree that condoms block contact with bodily fluids that can carry the HIV virus and have nearly 100 percent effectiveness when used correctly and consistently.'
The report examined two decades of scientific literature on condoms, and UNAIDS says lead author Norman Hearst "makes a cogent argument that we should be talking about safer sex, not safe sex, with condoms."
The Globe quotes Edward C. Green, a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, saying the one in ten failure rate of condoms protection from AIDS is "not good enough for a fatal disease." He said, "The way condoms are marketed in Africa and other developing parts of the world is as if they were 100 percent safe. Condoms have brand names like Shield and Protector that gives the impression that they are 100 percent safe."
Vinand M. Nantulya, a former advisor to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, warned, "If we tell youth that if you use condoms, you will be safe, then we are actually fueling the epidemic." Uganda's AIDS fighting program, which stressed abstinence first, being faithful second, and condoms only if one ignores the first two, has been seen as the only successful program for reversing the AIDS tide in Africa.
Aside from AIDS, condoms are also known to provide even less protection from a variety of other sexually transmitted diseases.