Condoms: A Step in the Wrong Direction

Greg Clovis, Family Life International

The BBC's "Today" programme (23/7/04) reported that despite the consistent and correct use of condoms by couples, 3 out of 10 of the women contracted AIDS - related complex (ARC) from their HIV positive partner in an 18-month period. In other words, there is an infection rate of about 20% per year.

During the post-pill and pre-HIV period the condom because of its method failure rate of more than 5% and its user failure rate of 15% was despised as a method of family planning. Yet the singular focus of the anti- AIDS campaign over the last 10 years has been to eulogize the protective qualities of the condom as a shield against the pandemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). With no vaccine in sight and lacking the moral courage to embrace chastity, contemporary society, by marketing the condom as the solution to the HIV/AIDs pandemic, has put all its eggs in a condom basket. Yet the very experts who promote the condom as a strategic weapon against HIV/AIDs are silent in regard to its failure as a contraceptive. Nor do they highlight the care with which condoms must be 'stored and transported', HIV/AIDS epidemiology experts have established that not only is latex heat, cold, light and pressure sensitive but it is also adversely affected by humidity, ozone, air pollutants and deteriorates over time[1]. With this in mind, keeping a condom in a wallet, purse or car glove-box compartment would appear to violate the stringent storage requirements to maintain it in a good condition. In an experiment to test the effectiveness of condoms against HIV, researchers filled condoms with a liquid containing plastic molecules analogous to the AIDS virus: i.e., they were similar in shape and size. These plastic particles were placed inside a condom with a glass plunger inside the condom. This arrangement was designed to imitate many of the 'environmental' factors operative during intercourse. By testing condoms in an active in-vitro (test tube) system which simulated key physical conditions that influence viral particle leakage an accurate understanding could be obtained of the protective attributes of condoms during actual coitus. The test quantitatively addresses pressure, pH, temperature, surfactant properties(surface tension) and anatomical geometry. Leakage of HIV-sized particles through latex condoms was detectable for as many as 29 out of the 89 condoms tested. This result represents a failure rate of 30%.[2] Highly qualified researchers in the field of latex technology are now calling into question the merit of promoting condoms as a method of stopping the transmission of HIV-AIDS. For instance C.M.Rowland, Ph.D., editor of the journal Rubber Chemistry and Technology, wrote as long ago as 1992 to the Washington Post) stating:

"... Electron micrographs reveal voids (holes) 5 microns in size (50 times larger than the virus), while fracture mechanics analyses, sensitive to the largest flaws present, suggest inherent flaws as large as 50 microns (500 times the size of the virus".)

This means that even a properly made condom can have naturally occurring channels which are at least 50 times larger than the AIDS virus. One final note, a recent report from the UN clearly underscores the wisdom of the Catholic Church's position.. UN public health officials are perplexed by a paradox in the Philippines where there is both a very low rate of condom use and of HIV/AIDS infection. Condoms are not widely available in the Philippines and are generally shunned by the predominantly Roman Catholic population, yet no more than 10,000 out of a total of 84 million people are believed to be infected with HIV.

Official Philippino HIV/AIDS statistics are even lower than those estimated by the UN - they show that just 1,810 people have tested positive for HIV. However, Vietnam has a similar population to the Philippines but has around 130,000 people infected with HIV. Costa Rica, on the other hand has about the same number of cases of HIV and AIDS as the Philippines but is just one-twentieth its size, with 3.8 million people.

The reality is that the West's policy of forcing or seducing developing countries into adopting condoms as a solution against HIV/AIDS and STDs, when it is well known that no study has ever shown correlation between condom promotion and the reduction in STDs is tantamount to genocide on the part of the West.


[1]. Smith, R. W., "Safe" Sex? Bridgetown Evening News 25/1/1993
[2] Carey, R.F., Herman, W.A., Retta, S.M., Rinaldi, J.E., Herman, B.A., Athey, T.W. "Effectiveness of latex condoms as a barrier to human immuno- deficiency virus-size particulars under conditions of simulated use". Sexually Transmitted Diseases 1992; 19(4):230-