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The Pope Both Right And Wrong About African AIDS Problem

With his first visit to Africa, Pope Benedict is both right and wrong about the serious AIDS crisis which is decimating the populations of many African nations. Once again, the Pope is adhering to the unBiblical line of his church by even opposing birth control such as condoms for married persons, by claiming that condoms are not the answer to the AIDS crisis. Yet the Pope is probably right in viewing that the widespread problems of male sexual dominance in Africa are a major cause of this serious epidemic. Cultural traditions in many African nations allow men to dominate sexual relationships, leaving most women with little ability to determine even this role for themselves, allowing women to easily become AIDS victims. AIDS.bmp

Many men in Africa are married to perfectly good women, however many married men choose to have sex outside of marriage and then bring the HIV infection home to their wives, who then often pass off the HIV infection to children they bear, and as HIV grows into full blown AIDS as most persons in African nations cannot afford medicines to treat and contain the HIV infection, then AIDS is wiping out the populations of Africa, killing off entire families.

The cultural problem of so many men in Africa having unprotected sex outside of marriage is allowing for the huge growth of HIV infections and the AIDS epidemic to destroy the entire continent. This is the biggest crisis the African continent has ever faced, despite centuries of warfare and dictatorships in most nations.

At least 22 million or more persons on the African continent are probably HIV positive. In nations such as South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the HIV infection rate might range as high 15-20% of the population. However, in some states such as Swaziland the HIV infection rate tops 26% of the population, followed by Botswana and Lesotho with HIV rates in the 23% range.

As the HIV and AIDS epidemic destroys many African nations, many families are left without wage earners and many children are left as orphans due to this serious crisis that is just as serious as the Plague that once ruined Europe when many in Europe held superstitious views that cats were the companions of witches and cats were largely killed or banned, allowing the rat population to grow and spread fatal disease to the population. In Africa, bad cultural views giving men too much control of sexual relations is helping to spread the HIV infection throughout the population.

Condoms are an important first start in Africa. However, the culture needs to change in many African nations as well, where men begin to take more responsibility for their actions and women are given a far greater say in the ability to determine whether to enter into a sexual relationship or not.

The Pope may want to bring his European style religion to Africa, however this is not Europe, and not everyone in Africa wants to accept European culture or religion as their own culture or faith. The Pope may view much of the sexual conduct of men in Africa as being either Adultery or fornication, according to his own European standards, however the culture of most in Africa probably do not share such views. However, some important cultural changes, as well as the use of condoms and education are important steps in controlling this serious problem for African society. The United States and other nations also need to greatly help as well. This is a serious crisis that demands a worldwide effort to contain and control.

HIV and AIDS continues to be a less serious problem in the United States for many reasons by comparison, including a much higher use of condoms, better sexual education, women having a far greater ability to determine whether to enter into sexual relationships, many men substituting harmless sexual fantasy such as as sexy culture, movies or even pornography in place of actual sexual acting out which may not be culturally appropriate in some cases, as well as Judeo-Christian religious or cultural norms that frown on activity that might be considered to be fornication or adultery. Further, among the Gay male community, greater caution is now used. At one time, Gay men considered their sexual activity to be fairly safe and without the risk of pregnancy, allowing for more partners or other risks. But AIDS has created a higher incidence of monogamy even in this community as well. However, the culture of Africa is far different. And for the culture to change there is much more difficult, complicating the AIDS problem.

Not everyone thinks like Americans or even Westerners do. There are often great cultural differences between the 192 nations of the world. Not everyone is like us. An ethnocentric view of the world doesn't solve all the world's problems.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (17)

Chad:

Paul, safe sex may help alleviate the incidences of AIDs in african cultures, but having a little more judeo-christian ethics toward sex wouldn't hurt either. I really don't agree with the catholic church's stance on birth control, but I'm a mennonite, so it doesn't really matter to me what the pope has to say on the subject. The catholic church is against condom use because that would cut back on the number of children born to catholic families. I will agree completely with the catholic church that abortion is wrong, and that life must not be terminated once begun, but the "rules" about not using a condom are down right ridiculous. I think you need to give credit where credit is due, much of the fight against the AIDs virus in africa was done in the last 8 years under President Bush. It's the dirty little secret that the press and democratic party don't want coming into the light of day. Cultural differences are a huge part of the problem. There's no way around it. When you have a society that embraces sexual promiscuity and adultery, you are going to have a higher incidence of STDs in general, not just AIDs. Look at incidences of Gonorhea, syphillis, herpes, genital warts, etc, since 1960 on. As American culture has embraced the "sexual revolution" the rates for these diseases has increased immensely among high school boys and girls. Yes, safe sex practices help keep these things in check, but abstinence is the only proven way to guarantee you don't end up pregnant, or with a raging case of......(pick your favorite from above). I'm not saying we should be teaching only abstinence. Some kids are going to have sex. There's just no getting around it. If they are going to, they need to know how to practice safely. That doesn't mean we should be permissive, and act as if there are no consequences to people's actions. I take issue with your idea that porn is a safe alternative to healthy monogamous relationships. I don't think that escapism is a healthy way to alleviate sexual tension, nor does it cultivate respect for a future partner, and tends to build unrealistic expectations in our own minds. Sorry, I'll get off my soap box, but you got me a little riled up.

Lee Ward:

All that Bush did was follow through on the initiatives established by President Clinton. I guess we should be grateful the Chimp didn't botch it, and give him credit for that.

Dramatically Increasing Overall AIDS Funding. The Clinton/Gore Administration has responded aggressively to the significant threat posed by HIV/AIDS with increased attention to research, prevention and treatment. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have increased overall funding for major HIV/AIDS programs by 121 percent (within HHS), funding for the Ryan White CARE programs has increased 338 percent and support for AIDS-related research has increased by over 89 percent.

Increasing AIDS Drug Assistance and Accelerating AIDS Drug Approvals. Funding for AIDS drug assistance has increased from $52 million per year to $528 million per year during the Clinton/Gore Administration. This program provides new life-prolonging drugs to people with HIV and AIDS. In addition, President Clinton and Vice President Gore convened the National Task Force on AIDS Drug Development, and removed dozens of bureaucratic obstacles to the effective and decent treatment of people with AIDS. Since 1993, the Food and Drug Administration has approved dozens of new AIDS drugs for AIDS-related conditions and new diagnostic tests.

Making Research a Priority. In one of his first acts in office, President Clinton signed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, placing full responsibility for planning, budgeting, and evaluation of the AIDS research program at NIH in the Office of AIDS Research. The President requested and received the first federal plan for biomedical research on AIDS. The Clinton/Gore Administration has increased NIH AIDS research funds by 89% to over $2 billion.

Focusing on Prevention: Supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Administration has increased funds for HIV prevention at the CDC by 47%. Under the leadership of the Clinton/Gore Administration, the CDC reorganized its AIDS prevention efforts to foster greater overall coordination and enhance efforts to reduce sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.

Educating Young People about the Dangers of AIDS. The Clinton/Gore Administration launched the Prevention Marketing Initiative, focusing on the risk to young adults (18-25) with frank public service announcements recommending the correct and consistent use of latex condoms for those who are sexually active.

Requiring the Federal Workforce to Understand AIDS. The Administration issued a directive on September 30, 1993 that requires every Federal employee to receive comprehensive education on HIV/AIDS.

Established a White House AIDS Office and Created a Presidential Advisory Council. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created a White House Office of National AIDS Policy to bring greater direction and visibility to the war on AIDS. Sandy Thurman, the current director of the office, has broad experience in both domestic and international AIDS services. At the same time, the Administration has sharpened the focus of its AIDS programs. The President and Vice President also created the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS to provide him and his Administration with expert outside advice on the ways in which the Federal government should respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Dr. R. Scott Hitt, a California physician specializing in HIV/AIDS care, chairs the panel.

Convened the First Ever White House Conference on HIV and AIDS. On December 6, 1995, the President and Vice President convened the first White House Conference on HIV and AIDS in the history of the epidemic, bringing together more than 300 experts, activists and citizens from across the country for a discussion of key issues.

(Source)

Chad:

Sorry, Lee, but you're wrong. Those were all domestic programs. President Bush actually provided aid to Africa, encouraged research in Africa, and provided medical aid (monetary, research, and provided the information to doctors in Africa) where it was needed. President Clinton's initiatives were never carried out in Africa. I'm not saying they weren't good plans, and a good start, they were never designed to help Africa. Sure, they laid the groundwork, but the implementation IN AFRICA was the work of President Bush. Please refrain from using the term "Chimp". It's adolescent and disrespectful. Do you see me calling President Obama names?

Lee Ward:

You're right, Chad the chimp actually did something that benefited someone other than the rich and the oil barons.

I stand corrected. - Link

Chad:

Once again Lee, please stop referring to President Bush as a "chimp". I certainly don't agree with everything he did, but at least show respect for the office. Have you seen me calling President Obama names? Show some class and show the proper respect for the office and the men that have done the hardest job in the world.

Lee Ward:

Bush the Chimp didn't "do" the hardest job in the world, Chad - he handed off major chunks to Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales, and let them screw this nation and its Constitution into the ground - and what they didn't screw Bush the Chimp screwed.

Worst - President - Ever - and he deserves no respect from any patriot.

Feel free to lick his boots if you wish, I spit on them.

And if you had an ounce of integrity you'd correct the conservative chimp lovers who constantly abuse Obama with names - but you won't do that, Chad, because you lack integrity - just like your idol the Chimp. Big mouth, tiny conscience.

Chad:

Lee, I have tried to correct those that call our current president names, and will continue to do so. Funny thing is, I don't see nearly as many of those as I see you constantly berating and belittling President Bush. As to him not doing the job, you just go ahead and keep believing what you want Lee. I don't agree with everything President Bush did, and I lick no man's boots. His stance on illegal immigration and profligate spending are serious failures in my mind. I like even less the current actions taken by President Obama regarding Vet's health care, spending money to get out of debt (when's the last time that worked for any of us?), universal health care, and cap and trade. But you don't see me call President Obama names. I don't get it, I made a simple polite request that you not call a former President names, and you insult me. You talk about my integrity, my big mouth, my tiny conscience, but you know absolutely nothing about me, and obviously don't want to. If you can't elevate the conversation above the level of the playground, fine, have it your way.

Lee Ward:

"Lee, I have tried to correct those that call our current president names, and will continue to do so."

Really, Chad? Feel free to link to one such attempt made prior to my comment yesterday and I'll apologize for stating you lack integrity.

Chad:

Nope, You started it, you provide the burden of proof. You want to go back through the archives, fine, you do it. I'm not just talking about here on the internet, I'm talking about conversationally, and on other sites. You want to call me out, you provide the proof. I'm not proving negatives. You want to be the schoolyard bully. That's fine. It's typical of 99% of the comments you make. All I did was point out that President Bush did something right. That's such anathema to you that you think you need to tear me down, then have fun with it. Insult my integrity, call me names, whatever you want, that's fine. If you want to act like an 8 year old, that's fine.

Lee Ward:

Running scared like a true Republican - of course you can't back up your claim - you have no integrity, juts like the Chimp you seek to defend.

You can quit whining about the Bush the Chimp being called names now, Chad. You've repeated the same whine several times, and you've lied about you being offended by the denigrating terms used by both sides to describe a president they don't favor. I gave you a chance to prove your claim and you folded like a weak-kneed Republican wuss. STFU and knock it off about the names now... You had your chance, and you lost.

Chad:

I didn't lose anything Lee, all you did was run your mouth. I was having a civilized conversation, and you come busting in with your adolescent disrespect for any and all that don't agree with you. You can't even type the word Bush without putting the word chimp behind it. All I did was give credit where it was due. Then you start slinging crap like there's no tomorrow. I thought maybe Paul and I could discuss an issue like adults without the 8 year old brat showing up, but I guess not. My integrity is just fine. You provide some examples, the burden of proof is not on me, it's on you. You made the accusations, you have to back them up, not me.

Chad:

If you want to slam somebody Lee, at least do it with style. Lee, thou art flatulent, out of every orifice pours noxioux gas. Lee, thou art a gas-bag. Every time you open your mouth a hurricane force gale of bile and putrescence issues forth. Lee, you remind me of my Uncle's pet goat, stinky and good for nothing but making excrement. Lee, if you were half the man Paul is you still wouldn't measure up to Michael Jackson. Get a little inventive. As a contributor to a site like wizbang you should have some wit, some verve, something better than "you have no integrity" (Because it's one thing that you can't prove on the internet).

Lee Ward:

You're not upset or anything - are you Chad?

You prattle on like a little old schoolteacher, offend by the use of the word Chimp associated with Bush, then - when you're asked to back up your blustery claim that you also shout down those who denigrate Obama -- you fold your tent and stupidly suggest that you can't prove a negative.

And you're the one who brought this up, chump - not me.

What are you? 5 years old? You were asked to prove a positive - prove that you do indeed speak up against those who denigrate Obama, you twit. All you needed was a simple link. Here, on this site - there are lots of opportunities for you to speak up - you haven't - I checked.

Next door on Wizbang - same story - as far as I can tell nothing from Chad the little school teacher who covers his ears at the word "Chimp" - but stands by while others call Obama far worse.

A simpleton like you whines and makes noises to cover up their lies and deceit.

You lost - STFU - second warning.

Chad:

Or what, you'll ban me? Just for disagreeing with you. Hate to break it to you Lee, but my life doesn't revolve around wizbang. I read maybe 1 out of every 6 articles, the comments on maybe 1 out of 18. I don't see many people calling President Obama names. I see a lot of people disagreeing with the policies, but not many calling him names. I tell people not to be disrespectful when I hear it. I read at least 10 other websites for news. I've corrected people on this issue numerous times. I've done it here once(yes after our initial conversation), I've done it at Blackfive (under a different name), and at least 3 other sites. No, I'm not telling you which blogs I read. You talk about integrity, yet your first, last, and only tactic is to call names, denigrate the one thing that can't be proven (integrity), and throw accusations. I opine that you do this to cover up your own inadequacies as a writer and thinker. Paul, It's been nice talking to you. Allen, feel free to e-mail. Lee is going to ban me now, so I'd better go. Been nice knowing you all, except Lee, you irrational little twit. Bye.

Lee Ward:

You're not banned, Chad. It's too much fun to expose your hypocrisy and lack of integrity and honesty. You're so typical of the trolls, a shining example.

But, as you've been told twice now -- enough with your off-topic whining about the names I choose to use for George Bush. You've had your say on the subject, now drop it - and in the future stick to the topic and knock off the trolling remarks.

And if you aren't smart enough to understand two and a half warnings on this subject, it'll be a pleasure to ban you.

Chad:

Funny thing is, I was on topic. I was the one discussing AIDs in Africa and the catholic church. You are the one that hijacked the thread, not me. All I asked was that you show a little respect for another human being. I thought you libs were supposed to be all about human dignity, tolerance, yada yada yada. Talk about hypocrisy, dishonesty, and lack of integrity. Ban me if you want, the only reason you are is because I won't back down from your attempts to bully me.

The Infallible One is 'both right and wrong'. I love it!

Think of it: if all heterosexaul Africans, Europeans, Asians, Chinese, Indians, as well as homosexuals, cleircal pedophiles and Jesuits, give up their condoms and renounce them througout their lives, then it will reduce the incidence of aids in Africa and elsewhere... If all these people rely upon their will-power and give up sex entirely -- not unlike the religious celibates --, then the incidence of aids and hiv will diminish.

I think the Pope is 'both right and wrong'. I suggest we hold our breadth, test these propositions, and eventually discover where the Infallible One is right and where he is wrong.

Failing that, we might pray that we all have immaculate conceptions...

Isn't Faith only fanatic and isn't religion only marvellous? I think I feel better now!


Seamus Breathnach

www.irish-criminology.com



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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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