On Thursday, TWO’s Wayne Besen appeared on FOX’s O’Reilly Factor to discuss the Pope’s comments that condoms make the AIDS epidemic worse.
On the way to Africa this week, the Pope spoke about condoms. He said they make the AIDS epidemic worse.
“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon, where he will begin a seven-day pilgrimage on the continent. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”
How many people is this man willing to see die to defend his outdated dogma? Can the Pope show us a population where HIV increased because of condom use? Of course not!
“There was one key point that I did not get to make during the show, due to time constraints,” said TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The Catholic mouthpiece Raymond Arroyo falsely claimed that abstinence was more effective than condoms. This is true, if you live in the Pope’s dream world. You know, a world where the Vatican did not shuffle around pedophile priests. But, in reality, people who make virginity pledges, usually fall short of their goals.”
Here is the truth about the Arroyo’s abstinence fantasy:
* * A January 2009 study reported in Pediatrics, shows that such programs are a fraud, with teenagers who pledged to avoid sex until marriage as likely to have sex as other students. The teens that took virginity pledges were also less likely to use birth control pills or condoms than those making no promise. (Janet Rosenbaum, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of population, family and reproductive health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.)
** Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) released a report in 2004 that found 11 out of 13 curriculums that preached “abstinence only” were rampant with scientific errors. In another study, researchers found that those who took so-called “virginity pledges” refrained from sex merely eighteen months longer than those who had not made such a pledge. However, the pledge-takers were six times more likely to engage in oral sex. “The Values Virgins” were also much less likely to engage in protected sex when they finally broke their pledge or to be tested for an STD. Disease rates between the two groups were similar.
Maybe the dogma works for the Pope and Arroyo. But, it apparently is not very effective for the rest of the world.