Condoms and whatnot (266)

The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict, on his first trip to Africa as pope, restated the Church’s position against the use of condoms to fight HIV and AIDS. While on a plane to Cameroon, he argued that abstinence was the most appropriate approach to fighting the spread of HIV. “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters aboard the plane heading to Yaoundé. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”

The Centers for Disease Control holds a different view. Here’s a study from the Public Health Service, originally published in 1993, and a fact sheet on condom effectiveness distributed by the CDC.

For yet another view, on taking African voices into account when determining policies for Africans, see here.

Here’s the Guardian story on so-called ‘corrective rape’ I mentioned early. One survivor of an abduction and rape, Phumla, noted that

Every day you feel like its a time bomb waiting to go off. You don’t have freedom of movement, you don’t have space to do as you please. You are always scared and your life always feels restricted. As women and as lesbians we need to be very aware that it is a fact of life that we are always in danger.

Austrian Josef Fritzl, accused of the 24-year enslavement and repeated rape of his daughter and murder of one of his sons, changed his plea on the enslavement and murder charges from not guilty to guilty.

Mark Danner has a story in the New York Review of Books on the International Committee of the Red Cross’s investigation of torture at Guantanamo. ICRC reports are usually kept confidential; Danner got hold of a leaked copy.

New Zealand has decriminalized prostitution.

I hope the women use condoms. . . .


About proftp

I teach political science and bioethics as an adjunct at a CUNY school.
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