Have you read anything positive about the Pope's visit to Africa yet? The secular press is full of doom and distortion. It's all bias, bias and more bias. Meanwhile, back at the Catholic ranch, we're reading news reports that tell a completely different story - like this one from National Review Online.
Here's some of what the National Review Online has to say: We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working. 1D So notes Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this week.
The pope is correct, or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope comments. He stresses that condoms have been proven to not be effective at the level of population.
There is, Green adds, consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded Demographic Health Surveys, between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates.... Green added: also noticed that the pope said monogamy was the best single answer to African AIDS, rather than abstinence. The best and latest empirical evidence indeed shows that reduction in multiple and concurrent sexual partners is the most important single behavior change associated with reduction in HIV-infection rates (the other major factor is male circumcision).
And while, as Travis Kavulla writes from Kenya today, the international media will ignore all sorts of fascinating new stories about church and civilizational growth in favor of a sexier, albeit way-too-familiar storyline, Green has some encouraging news: The pope is not alone. More and more AIDS experts are coming to accept the above. The two countries with the worst HIV epidemics, Swaziland and Botswana, have both launched campaigns to discourage multiple and concurrent partners, and to encourage fidelity.
Two French deputies have noted that the Holy Father's words were "deformed" and "exaggerated" by the media. Jacques Remiller stated that the Holy Father's words had been manipulated, especially by "the French political class," which has carried out a veritable "witch hunt" against the Pontiff. Read the full story on Zenit here:
Here's a review by Sally Hall (Human Life International) of "The Change is On" documentary. (You can view it free on YouTube here:
"AIDS, you have no mercy...who's going to stay in this world?" ask South African Primary school children in a rural village in Limpopo province. Death is a looming spectre for these 13 year olds. Graves are being opened 5 or 6 at a time. The murderer is HIV/AIDS. Information about HIV/AIDS abounds, even in the isolated and rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. The question people want answered however is: How can we stop this? How can we stop people from dying before our eyes? We need to give them an honest answer, an answer that will help them. Right now controversy is raging following comments made by Pope Benedict XVI on the role of condoms in that answer.
The reality is that it is not possible to stop the HIV/AIDS pandemic unless people
change their behaviour.