March 29, 2009

The Pope May Be Right

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Here is the article in the Washington Post.

Here's the skinny. Condoms really don't work in Africa because:
In significant proportions of African populations, people have two or more regular sex partners who overlap in time.

These ongoing multiple concurrent sex partnerships resemble a giant, invisible web of relationships through which HIV/AIDS spreads.
They have multiple sex partners and aren't using condoms. So what has worked in Africa?
Strategies that break up these multiple and concurrent sexual networks -- or, in plain language, faithful mutual monogamy or at least reduction in numbers of partners, especially concurrent ones. "Closed" or faithful polygamy can work as well.
The Pope may be right about condom use and AIDs in Africa. However, they do work in places like Thailand and Cambodia where most HIV is transmitted through commercial sex and where it has been possible to enforce a 100 percent condom use policy in brothels.

I suspect that if the Pope was in Thailand or Cambodia, he would have said the same thing. He is opposed to condom use for theological reasons and is not making a judgement based on unique conditions in Africa.

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