Friday, 20 March 2009

Support for the Holy Father from Harvard

National Review Online carries and article by Kathryn Jean Lopez: From Saint Peter’s Square to Harvard Square which has the subtitle "Media coverage of papal comments on AIDS in Africa is March madness."

Lopez quotes Edward C. Green, the Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Green said that the Pope was right and that the best evidence that we have supports his comments because condoms have not proved effective. Greater availability and use of condoms leads to higher, not lower HIV-infection rates. He explains:
This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”
Or, as we might put it simply, the promotion of condoms leads to promiscuity. Green also said,
I also noticed that the pope said ‘monogamy’ was the best single answer to African AIDS, rather than ‘abstinence.’ The best and latest empirical evidence indeed shows that reduction in multiple and concurrent sexual partners is the most important single behavior change associated with reduction in HIV-infection rates
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