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Condoms Not Preventing HIV in Africa?

Prominent researchers are advocating a dramatic shift in HIV-prevention priorities. A new study says that significant funding is being wasted in Africa on condom distribution, HIV testing, and vaccine research. Instead, money should be spent on male circumcision, reducing the number of sexual partners, and improving health systems in African countries.

The researches say that the strongest evidence supporting the shift in priorities is the fact that the infection rate has not dropped, despite years of condom and testing awareness. Conversely, male circumcision significantly reduced the risk, as has a reduction in the number of partners.

According to BBC, two-thirds of HIV infections happen in Africa. But, some health experts say that HIV prevention is getting too much funding. HIV causes 3.7 percent of all deaths worldwide; yet, it receives 25 percent of the funding.

Are you surprised that the study purports that condoms and testing are not working? Do you think HIV research should get less funding, as it causes proportionately less deaths than the money spent on it? Or, do societies have an interest in eradicating a particularly horrifying disease?

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hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Well I think we're ALL right on this one! I don't think one comment (except some of my ramblings that had nothing to do with the topic) here was null and void. I think all the comments have a good point. Which means, I think, that all things need to be considered. Right?
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
awesomeness: I think several conversations tangled up, there. You're right, one of the issues in Africa is that women don't have the right to say no. Regarding self-control, though, I think our culture needs to revive the concept. We've become too much into instant gratification. And no matter what is said, handing out condoms equates with permission to screw around indiscriminately. The best way to minimize a behavior is to attach a social stigma to it. We've removed that, and the result has been slutty high-schoolers (and younger). Remember, recent studies have shown that the higher-level judgment centers in the brain aren't fully developed until at least the age of 21 or so.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Self control???? One poster is very ignorant to say that the victims should've had self-control. Why blame the victim? That is completely unfair, especially since African women(a very hard-struck demographic) have little to no say in their society. If their husband/boyfriend/customer/whatever the case may be- decides they don't want to use a condom then the women really have no choice. Especially if it's the husband. The woman could be beaten to death for disobeying her husband. I think that they should keep up the message to use the condom because at least the small progress being made is better than no progress at all. Also, the entire world should keep up the research efforts. Just because third-world countries are hit hard by HIV/AIDS infections, does not mean that the United States, UK, etc. should just sit back and wash their hands of it. This is a global issue that we all need to unite around and try to cure. We have to speak for those who have no one willing to hear them speak, and help our fellow brothers and sisters. It's just the moral and ethical thing to do.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well there in lies the catch22 UnDave I’m not arguing that abstinence is not the best form of birth control or prevention for desiese, but when one lives in a society where our children are literally programmed and nurtured by a mass media to be sexual (and violent on another note) we should provide a safety net of safe sex knowledge for those who will sercome to temptation. Temptation is an unavoidable part of human nature and ironically a necessary tool for learning from our mistakes. When I suggest in my comment above "I am for teaching both in a context that does not have an agenda for one over the other" I am strictly referring to school curriculum because public schools have no business pushing one agenda over the other. They just need to worry about providing the information that is available in an objective manner. Parents should take an active roll in nurturing their child’s views towards sex and define the information as they choose for their children.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I agree with your very elloquent reply. My argument is that in the effort to provide the information, we have abondoned the whole "abstinence is the best" methodology. When we, as parents (or teachers, or respected adults) say "I know you're going to do it, so make sure you use a condom." We are really saying "I give you permission to do it, just be semi-careful." We need to instill the power to decide but belittle the best of the choices (abstinence), we make their choices for them.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
As for our society here in the U.S. I'm not for the solution of teach one or the other (abstinence or safe sex). I am for teaching both in a context that does not have an agenda for one over the other. Having obviously been an adolescent my self and working in a high school for eight years. It was very clear by my observation that youth will make intelligent choices whether it is abstinence or safe sex if we instill in them the information with out the conflict that one is better or morally superior over the other. Because the information then becomes a battle field w/casualties rather than a sanctuary of enlightenment. When we burden their choice with such a conflict the drama dissuades them from being thoughtful about the matter and making clearer choices.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Sometimes though, I have so much to say and I freakin can't say it all on these things. So, often my ramblings become a garbled mess.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
LOL! I sometimes look at my comments and say WTF was I saying? You know, it's only scary if you think you understand me. Then you got problems!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Harts - I've been wondering what you're talking about for months now ;)
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
It's more than just raging hormones. We had raging hormones when we were kids. Our parents had raging hormones when they were kids. The difference between then and now is this society now accepts that that is going to happen, and almost condone it. That doesn't teach the kids that it's wrong. BTW I say wrong not because I think sex is bad. I say wrong because they aren't mature enough (many men never are) to handle the responsibilities that come with the consequences of having sex. I agree with you that those who don't have good parents, or no parents need help also. But that's where the neighborhood comes in. Everyone needs to be saying don't do it.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Hmm, I make grammatical errors galore! I also forget words, letters, screw up the letters. It's a wonder if anyone really understands what I'm saying. :ponder:
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
b-t-w, Rac you talk just like my brother! If you are him and not telling me. You wait till Mom finds out!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
lol. I try to overlook grammatical errors, and hope that everyone overlooks mine ;) To answer your question, it was both. I knew that if I had unprotected sex, I could get a girl pregnant. I also had been taught (in church and in Boy Scouts) that sex outside of marriage is wrong. I made a personal choice to not let some girl mess up the plans that I had for my career, and I stuck to it. I've lost many girlfriends because of that, but I still believe that I am the better one for my choice.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Well, here's my more than 2 cents: Yeah teaching abstinance is a good thing and I don't want to say not do that. But, I also agree with other preventions. Teach kids about sex, pregnancy, std's etc. I do agree that parents should be involved with teaching their kids abstinance etc. But, what about the kids who don't have parents teaching them that? I also know of plenty of kids (when I was a kid) parents who were very strict and taguth abstinance etc. Yet some of them were pregnant at sixteen. We should really think about why they're sexually active so young. Duh, of course there's raging hormones. Some kids yeah they had good parent influence. But, maybe the kids were actually more mature or something. Otherwise, there's kids who do it because there's nothing else to do. Or they're insecure, and someone's making them feel good. Or they think if they do this then they'll be liked more. Some Africans have gone astray from their past traditions habits (whatever) as Americans or any other country. I think what AC was trying to touch on was lets not focus on handouts and get people to take care of themselves. Of course there's a lot to do with that concept. But it's still good to do. Remember "Live Aide"? All the muscians got together and did that charity and then they all got powdered milk but painted their houses with it. :irk: There have been a lot of problems with people just trying to get others help (food, condoms, there's a list). That arguement has too much to talk about, so I'm stopping with that part.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I misused "than" and I am aware of that. We're working on the problem.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
UnDave, not to get too personal, but were you aware of what would happen if you had unprotected sex? Or was that decision just because you were told having sex was wrong? I ask because if teenagers know that they can catch diseases and can get pregnant, than they have an understanding of abstinence. But if they're just told "sex is wrong", then abstinence will fail.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Racci - I have to disagree. I'm not so old that I don't remember my high school and college years. I made a decision to reamain abstinent, and was disciplined enough to do it. I don't understand why it is ludicris to expect teenagers to be able to do it. Maybe it is actually the parents fault for expecting so little of their children...
IslandGirl IslandGirl 9 years
Auntie Coosa I have to disagree. Is it your belief that providing people with condoms and the knowledge of how to use it will only encourage them to have sex? That is a belief that sex educators have had to fight for years and studies have shown (I wish I had them on hand) that that is not the case. More times than not, young people who were educated about safer sexual practices and encouraged to engage in positive extra-curricular activities were more likely to prolong their first sexual encounter - despite being offered condoms for protection. You cannot say don't give people condoms because then they'll just want to have sex all day long - that's insane! Also, yeah somehow I think Africans have been fishing, farming and planting a lot longer than the rest of the world- what with the Continent being the birthplace of humanity and all. Education is key, but not the only method needed. And exactly raciccarone: yes, sure you can spread the message of abstinence because that is ultimately the only sure form of protection (sexually speaking that is), but the reality is that young people need to have other options available to them because lets face it, they will be engaging in sexual activities - just like the people who are now lecturing them on abstinence once did when they were their age.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
You go, AC! God, I love watching that crazy train leave the station. Especially the part about teaching Africans to farm and fish. Brilliant. They've been doing it for 12,000 years. Absolutely brilliant.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
Well, duh. CNN News reports this: "(Pope) Benedict (XVI) expressed concern that human life risks losing its value in today's culture, and worried that sex could "transform itself into a drug" that one partner had to have even against the will of the other." And that's what condoms do. EDUCATION in prevention of STDs is what is more important. Spend money on teaching Africans to farm, to fish, to plant a fish head with a grain of corn to produce healthy corn. If a man is kept busy, he's less likely to engage in sexual activities. Bored people with too much time on their hands are either sending (bogus) emails claiming to be beneficiaries of a great sum of money if the recipient will cash a check and send part of it back to them, OR acting out their sexual urges. One of the CULTURAL problems is that 'someone' (a confirmed deviant) is telling African men that the way to get rid of HIV is to have sex with a young virgin. EDUCATE them in sanitation, farming and starting small businesses in their homes. Give the women sewing machines and teach them to sew and sell what they sew. E D U C A T I O N is the first step to financial freedom which is a first step of Personal Freedom.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Of course abstinence works. If you don't have sex you can't get AIDS. The same way if you don't eat you can't get fat. But you have to eat! You're not going to tell hormone-raging teens to just "say no". It's easy for adults to say that, because their hormones have settled down and their urge to procreate isn't as strong. But please, the idea of telling a horny 16 year old to not have sex is ludicrous.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
And I think Islandgirl said everything I said already. oh well. *sigh* :)
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Sorry about all the errors guys! :)
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
I not sure what the answer is. I don't think stopping the promotion of condoms is a good idea. They could increase education maybe. :shrug: One of the problems is there is a lot of coruption there, prostition (those in that area don't even care about aids). There's a lot of things that factor here. Sad stuff.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
They do reduce risk but not prevent. Like hypno said. Also I think others mentioned if they aren't using them correctly which is often the case here even. Also, people lie and say they are using them and don't. I wonder how many men will actually get circusized. Will they take care of themselves correctly after ward (the healing proccess).
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