Condoms: A Standard Practice for All!
by Bradford McIntyre
We know many of
our youth are having sex and will have sex in the future. To teach
abstinence without including education on the need for a condom
and how to use a condom will lead to more HIV and STD infections.
Education is the key!
Around the world the use of condoms is seen as a
trusted weapon in the prevention of HIV infection, however, these
efforts are often hampered by religious beliefs.
President Bush has clearly given preferential treatment
by providing funding to HIV/AIDS groups and organizations which
promote abstinence; over those promoting the use of condoms! Steven
Sinding, director general of the International Planned Parenthood
Federation says "Condoms will remain key preventive tools for
many, many years to come. The U.S. policy of emphasizing abstinence
is a serious setback to the AIDS control effort".
The Pope refuses to recognize the harm the Catholic
Church is causing with it's refusal to promote condom use in the
prevention of HIV and AIDS. HIV+ individuals have even been told
by Priests and Nuns that they should not use condoms. Religious
leaders who forcefully directed and encourage abstinence have
stopped campaigns on the use of condoms!
At the 2004 International AIDS Conference in Bangkok,
Thailand, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said "In some cultures
sexual intercourse is so elaborate that condoms are a hindrance".
Let the condom be used by people who cannot abstain, cannot be
faithful or are estranged".
Condoms may not be preferred but the reality is
they are now necessary. The use of condoms saves lives and condoms
work to prevent the further spread of HIV!
Everyone working to promote abstinence as a method
of preventing HIV infection should have to include education on
the need for a condom and how to use a condom! Condoms prevent
We know that individuals who are told they must
refrain from sex or make pledges of abstinence that they are very
often ill prepared and a condom is not used when they do engage
in sex. They become infected!
We also know that we cannot rely on the pledge of
fidelity. Many women and men who considered themselves to be in
a monogamous relationship were infected by their spouse. This
is clearly evident now with the increase of HIV infections among
married women. Knowledge of and the use of a condom is necessary
Responsible sexual conduct means using a condom
and if this is not being taught then many more people will be
infected with HIV.
We will not see change in the HIV/AIDS pandemic
until the use of Condoms are a standard practice for all!