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Condoms and AIDS in D.C.

CNN was playing in the car dealer's waiting room today (more on that later perhaps), and one of the stories was Washington, D.C.'s plan to give out condoms to the public to prevent or retard the spread of AIDS.

Now I'm sorry, but that's gotta be one of the most bass ackwards types of programs I've ever seen. Thank goodness my tax dollars aren't funding the sex lives of people who fuck other people that can't even be trusted to answer a simple "do you have any STDs?" question. Hell, come to think of it, maybe my tax dollars are funding the program for all I know.

All I know is this: if I don't know someone well enough to trust that they'd give me an honest answer to that question, I sure as hell won't be sticking any of my body parts into any of theirs, protected or not.

Condoms aren't the answer. It's like it's condoning sex with HIV carriers. "Just put on a condom, you won't DIE!" Condoms break. Skin touches skin outside of condoms. People scratch during sex. And isn't the HIV virus so small that it can actually pass through condoms fairly easily? That's what I remember hearing.

Stupid. Stupid on so many levels. And as always, if I'm wrong, tell me. I like to learn.

23 Responses to "Condoms and AIDS in D.C."

  1. Stupid. Stupid on so many levels. HIV isn't spread from skin to skin. Even french Kissing isn't infectious, only in rare cases with open wounds in your mouth, and even that is not proven. You can't get HIV via insects or shared use of glasses or dishes. HIV is horrible enough for the carriers without this kind of treatment. This kind of treatment makes the carriers not mention their infection and HIV even more dangerous. You seem to be in the lucky situation that nobody that you like has been infected yet, I bet you would have a different view on the subject. It's still a death sentence, you know. For one little error.

  2. The HIV virus is *not* small enough to pass through a condom. It is spread through fluids (blood, semen) and isn't some free-flying little particle or bug you can catch.

    The Catholic church has come under heavy fire recently, for spreading that same rumour to african congregasions. "Don't use condoms! They spread HIV/AIDS!"

    People will have sex, and sometimes with little or no care for their own saftey -- then and there. Compared to most government spending, it's a drop in the ocean to give our free condoms. And free condoms aren't just to prevent spreading HIV. They prevent other STD's as well, plus safeguarding against pregnancy.

    Better safe than sorry.

  3. Do some research before making these kinds of posts. A quick search on safer sex sites would have answered your question about HIV and condoms. This sort of misinformation might just get shrugged off here, but its a matter of life and death in Africa, where the HIV infection rate is astoundingly high.

    Further, you may or may not be aware of the fact that there is an epidemic outbreak of syphilis on the East Coast right now. Condoms will certainly stop that. Further, condoms will prevent transmission of HPV, which is linked to cervical cancer. Males can carry HPV and exhibit absolutely no symptoms. Now, while HPV also causes genital warts in both sexes, it is ironic that the strains that cause warts tend not to be linked to cervical cancer.

  4. "Better safe than sorry."

    That's exactly why I don't have sex with random people who might be carrying a disease that could lead to my early demise.

    Condoms or not, if someone has an STD and I could get it, I'm gonna stay away, especially if it's a deadly STD.

    Condoms break. Death lasts forever.

  5. "That's exactly why I don't have sex with random people who might be carrying a disease that could lead to my early demise."

    If you have sex with person A, and person A has had sex with only you and person B, and person B has had sex with only person A and person C, and person C has only had sex with person B and person D, and person D hasn't been promiscuous in a long time, but they were back in college, then you are at risk for contracting an STD. You might trust person A with all your heart, and person A might trust you and person B, and person B might trust person A and C, and person C was lied to by person D about the promiscuous past, but that doesn't change your risk. It might not be your mistake that a person will be paying for, it might be someone else's mistake!

    If you've never been tested, you don't know if you have an STD or not, unless you've only been with one person, who has only been with you. Because people can be carriers without expressing symptoms, it can be incredibly difficult to trace paths of infection. If you can put a block in the way of new infections (some of which are caused by people making bad decisions, and others of which are being caused by innocent people being caught up in something they don't control), you can start to reign in the epidemic.

    Programs like this help because HIV is a symptom of a greater problem. Until the greater problem can be solved, you need to put a damper on the symptoms. If you can cut down new infection rates, you can save lives while you work toward general safer-sex habits in the population. Giving out condoms can't hurt, and CAN help. A life saved is a life saved, even if that person made a mistake (even if the mistake was so small that they didn't even realize it might be happening, like the 'you' in my example above).

    Anyway, things like this are cheap, cheaper than dealing with a society full of sick and dying people. It can be hard to tell how that affects your life, but it does. Remember the old saying about the ounce of prevention!

  6. Sam, the problem with your argument is that it assumes that the people with whom I've slept - a list of entirely three people - haven't been tested. They have. Any additions to the list will also have been tested. I am tested yearly at a physical (I don't go explicitly for that reason, but believe it is my responsibility to have bloodwork done for that and other reasons).

    Why people feel they can be casual about this is beyond me. It's literally a life and death thing.

    I still think that giving out condoms in some way endorses having sex with people. Why not pamphlets that say "fuck someone you don't know and you might die"? Nobody's yet given a good reason why that wouldn't be more effective. Or, for that matter, less effective.

  7. All would be well-served with a sincere visit to this site for some enlightening and rather scary information about the ... ahem .. relationship (rather, the lack thereof) between HIV and AIDS.

    You'll never believe it if I say it, but I'll say it anyway: AZT is a major cause of AIDS and not one (yes) HIV infection has been proven to cause AIDS. :\

    (Replying to this comment is useless as I am sharing what I feel is important information, not getting into a battle.)

  8. What you are endorsing is essentially Abstinence-Only Education, and there have been many studies that have shown that it is ineffective.

    The basic conclusion of these studies is that in the end, people are going to have sex. By trying to instill fear by saying that condoms are not 100% effective, when these people do have sex, they won't use a condom because they've been told repeatedly that it's ineffective.

    Here are a few links to checkout:

    This study is performed by a committee investigating the Bush administration, so it may be a little biased.

    This study is by the American Academy of Pediatrics, pretty unbiased I'd say. Note the following: About 26% of adolescent couples trying to abstain from intercourse will become pregnant within 1 year. and There is no evidence that refusal to provide contraception to an adolescent results in abstinence or postponement of sexual activity. In fact, if adolescents perceive obstacles to obtaining contraception and condoms, they are more likely to have negative outcomes to sexual activity

    Up until last October, the CDC web page included a section called Programs that Work, which provided information showing the increased effectiveness of programs that informed people of the risks and also what they can do to minimize them vs. abstinence only programs. George W. had all references to non abstinence only programs removed. Somehow I doubt it's because of a scientifically and statistically sound judgement that their studies were poorly conceived.

    Boiling it down, you're a smart guy. You understand the concept of risk management, while many people don't. You could say that if someone is dumb enough to have unprotected sex they deserve what's coming to them, but I'd like to think in a compassionate society, we do everything we can to help people make the best possible decision taking into consideration their weaknesses.

  9. This has to be a joke...

    "Why not pamphlets that say "fuck someone you don't know and you might die"?"

    Do you seriously think this would be any cheaper than handing out condoms? The fact is, people have sex. Uneducated people have sex. Really smart people have sex and forgo the safety nets. Condoms work. Elitist attitudes don't.

  10. It was mostly a joke. Both would be ineffective. My new attitude: let them screw themselves to death, the silly twats. Elitist? Nah, I'm just better than they are. 😉

  11. Adam: this page reads very much like one of those "sickness is just a mental problem"-pages. Just because it has not been proven yet doesn't mean that it's wrong.

    All those quotes by famous people on the page just state that it has not been proven, or they make unfounded claims (just like they're saying the hypothesis supporters do).

    Of course, some HIV/AIDS basics research should be done to prove or disprove the claims.

  12. And isn't the HIV virus so small that it can actually pass through condoms fairly easily?

    No. No. A world full of no. Read the following to see how this urban legend has become so widespread recently.

  13. I go to a large university, and people are having casual sex all the time. If there weren't condoms, people would still have sex anyway, I can promise you that. Making them freely available removes the stigma and excuse for not having some sort of protection. Asking someone you met at a party to go and get tested before you sleep together is...pretty silly. I think this situation models the real world more than many people would like to admit.

  14. Andy: it's much more than that. There have been large studies done and large amounts of re-research of older studies that have shown this to be a rather large fsck-up. I recommend the following paper as a basic introduction:

    The AIDS Dilemma: drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus

    Full PDF is on the page. Stats, information, and pretty little charts included. 🙂

  15. Concerning the holes counter-argument, the following is all that article says:

    The team has discovered that the Catholic Church - contrary to mainstream scientific opinion - is claiming that condoms have microscopic holes in them which allow the HIV virus through.The World Health Organisation has condemned this view as dangerous.

    That's far from convincing. It's "dangerous" is not exactly "wrong." Dangerous I can see, because it can lean to non-use of rubbers and then some folks will ride bare-back and kaboom. No one outright says it's wrong.

    Besides, going "contrary to mainstream science" is not a bad thing. Sometimes that's the only way to get the truth out. "Science" once held that cancer was contagious or that scurvy was caused by bacteria. Only people working against mainstream science proved that wrong.

  16. Adam: ok, this one makes more sense, because it actually states facts (statistical data). Of course, blaming AIDS on drugs is just as easy as blaming it on HIV -- drug users often have a very similiar lifestyle, so it could be something else in their environment.

    I'm wondering: what happens to an HIV positive person who's untreated over time?

  17. In one of Peter Duesburg's many books (this one being Inventing the AIDS Virus) he talks of (and I think that paper does as well) a tennis pro that got HIV and both his wife and child got it as well before they discovered it. He was treated first and went sharply downhill. When he heard of this research and stopped AZT he got dramatically better. His wife and child never started treatment and they outlive him today. (He died due to the damage AZT caused his nervous system.)

    I'm sure there's other cases, but the statistical data alone convinced me.

  18. Besides, going "contrary to mainstream science" is not a bad thing. Sometimes that's the only way to get the truth out. "Science" once held that cancer was contagious or that scurvy was caused by bacteria. Only people working against mainstream science proved that wrong.

    No, it's not a bad thing as long as you can provide convincing evidence of your counter-claims. Peer review is a core component of the scientific method.

    The church however, have claimed that they have scientific evidence that condoms are dangerous (as well as evil, apparently), but when asked to divulge this evidence, (as they have been repeatedly) they refuse to.

    This isn't science, this is fear mongering, and in my opinion is wilfully irresponsible, given the current consensus on AIDS in the medical community.

  19. Totally disagree with your blog entry about aids and condoms. I never thought you could have such a small closed mind.


  20. If I had a "small closed mind" I wouldn't have posted, thus inviting feedback and contrary opinions.

  21. Well have you changed your mind then on this subject?

    It would be interesting to see if the comments have had any impact on you.

  22. Of course they did. I never claim to know everything there is to know. Not even about myself.

  23. There is alot of talk here concerning science, but who's science. What about truth, is anyone interested in the truth? Absent of activist emotion, who here has really researched how condoms are manufactured and tested and what statistical data says about failure rates for pregnancies alone, a sperm is much larger then and AIDS virus or STD's that's a fact and this was known decades ago it's not some rumor!

    I've seen statistical data of failure rates ranging from 5 to 15 percent,I'm sorry but when you're betting your life would you consider that safe? A latex condom cannot stop an HIV virus anymore then a tennis racket can stop a handful of BB's passing through it and that's a conservative estimate example. Do your own research and plenty of it, don't just go to "safe sex" Web sites for their agenda driven condoms are great propaganda, keep an open mind it's your life or the life of someone you care about at stake, are you really interested in the truth?

    It's natural that people would want to believe that condoms are completely safe especially if they are sexually active with multiple partners, but are they really safe or just deceiving themselves because it's easier and they don't have to modify their behavior or conform to a moral code that they believe is restricting.

    Ultimately it's your choice, but if you choose to take the risk and get sick speaking as a taxpayer DON'T SEND ME THE BILL!