Dr. Parvathy V Das, a medical doctor, diagnoses the reasons for the AIDS and recommends that condoms are ineffective in preventing the spread of AIDS. However, she prescribes a 100% safe method to prevent AIDS.
….. a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. Mathew 7:27
A specter is haunting across the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated statistics on the AIDS infected persons shows that in 2003, an estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 persons in the United States were living with HIV/AIDS (24-27% undiagnosed and unaware of their HIV infection). In India, WHO estimates point to around 18142 cases of reported AIDS in the year 2005. An estimated 36 million adults are infected with HIV worldwide, acquired primarily via heterosexual contact. Much has been said and done to prevent the alarming spread of AIDS.
In India, governmental and non-governmental institutions have been promoting condoms to prevent this curse. But is the ‘unsafe sex’ the real culprit? Are the condoms effective enough to prevent the AIDS? Let us examine the facts to answer these questions.
Is the ‘Unsafe’ Sex or Unfaithful Sex the Real Culprit?
The God given gift of sex with or without contraceptives in itself is not a cause of AIDS. The chances of HIV spreading through sexual route is 0.1 -1% compared to the blood product transfusion (90 to 95%) or from mother to baby (20-40%). If this is the probability, one would expect the maximum number of HIV infected in the country to be from blood product transfusion, followed by mother to baby and the least from sexual transmission. However, out of all the cases of HIV infection in the country, 85% of them are acquired by sexual transmission. So, it is not the virus or even the God given method of procreation that is the culprit but the risky behavior of the unscrupulous men.
Here one would expect the government and the NGOs to spread this news and take measures to reduce the unfaithful sex (sex outside the marriage). But the government and NGOs behave as though these facts are not known and the best way to reduce the spread of AIDS is condoms. But can one piece of rubber really withhold this curse? Let the facts speak.
Condom: It’s Principle and Pitfalls A condom is a small bag shaped object made from latex or polyurethane used to prevent pregnancy. It acts as a physical barrier and prevents the penetration of sperm. In the setting of prevention of HIV the same principle is used. The latex material acts as a fence against the virus. But this method has not proven itself as foolproof. There are many pitfalls and obstacles for the effectiveness of condoms.
- Using a condom is cumbersome.
- It has to be inserted correctly and withdrawn after each sexual act. A fresh one has to be used every time.
- Breakage or slippage of the condom annuls the purpose.
- A false sense of security: One may acquire a Sexually Transmitted Infection, remain asymptomatic and keep spreading the infection.
- Condoms are untrustworthy. The integrity of the latex rubber is lost during storage and transport causing breakage and tears.
- Condoms will break 8% of the time and slip off 7% of the time.
In technical terms, these would result in a 'contraceptive failure'. The propagators of condoms may argue it will reduce the risk and rather than prevent it. However, the public at large do not understand the difference between "condoms may reduce risk of" and "condoms will prevent" HIV transmission. So, it’s unethical to bring about a false sense of security and cheat the entire humanity.
Effectiveness of contraceptives in controlling pregnancies and AIDS
It must be noted here that contraceptive failures (measured as number of pregnancies per woman year) are maximum in condom usage, a 15% failure rate.. This occurs because the breech of the physical barrier occurs easily and the seminal fluid comes in contact with the vaginal mucosa resulting in fertilization Even a gynecologist will acknowledge the same fact and ascertain that only pills have 100% contraceptive efficacy.
If this is the situation in contraception then how can the spread of the HIV virus be prevented? The same route of failure throws away the much hyped security barricade against HIV infection.
HIV virus is much smaller than a human sperm (2.5 to 3.5 microns width) with a diameter of 300 to 500 nanometers. Latex rubber contains pores of the order 5 – 1 microns. This difference is enough to allow theoretical passage of the virus. It is a falsehood to spread that condoms can prevent AIDS.
Who is the unfortunate victim of this falsehood?
Sadly it is the younger generation. Today’s teenagers are exposed to a sex-education which primarily teaches them that they cannot control their sexual desires, and that they must use condoms to protect themselves. The media adds much to this by immense vulgarity prevalent in the film.
There are just so many pitfalls in condom use that you just can't expect immature teenagers to use them properly. And even if they do, they are still at risk. Discipline and order taught to teenagers are more of advantage if they are convinced that it is beneficial. Will not a teenage boy work out fervently for body building? Wouldn’t a teenage girl be diligent in things of her interest like dance etc? Evidence is that school and peer group based teaching of abstinence is more effective and helps them stay away from sexual activity altogether until marriage.
Right information is important in enabling them to make logical choices not a premature exposure to sexual practices. Every teenage should be taught to turn away from sex rather than be encouraged by open discussions of condom based ‘safe sex’.
The Best Thing to Wear
The best common sense solution as protection is abstinence until marriage and to be faithful to one uninfected partner for life. Almost all risk of STD and out-of-wedlock pregnancy can be avoided by saving intercourse for marriage. Should we fight the risky behavior and teach abstinence as 'sex education' or should we allow perdition to flourish and relax in an umbrella of folly? Would the government and business markets proclaim 'you can do whatever you want; we have condoms as the solution'?
To all who would like to experiment with sex, the only best thing to wear during the time is your wedding gown/suit.
- A handbook for physicians in treatment of Aids – provided by The Clinton Foundation in conjunction with National Aids Control Organization (NACO)
- A physician guide – also provide by NACO