Failure rate of condoms too high for comfort

Letters, Normal

IT was interesting to read the reaction of the chairman of the National AIDS Council, Sir Peter Barter, to the editorial of The National (Feb 5), which condemns the use of condoms as leading to promiscuity.
Sir Peter rejects such statement, claiming that condoms are a real protection from sex with a HIV positive infected person.
In support of his statement, he quotes some unidentified researches and he hopes that more researches will be done to prove his statement.
Condom producers have already made thorough researches on this field with helpful results for anybody concerned with the spread of HIV/AIDS.
For instance, they found that 12% of those who used condoms as a protection from HIV infection obtained the opposite result, for various reasons.
Instead of being protected, they have been infected.
The explanation given by the condom producers is that condoms are not used properly.
However, they admit that the result worldwide is 12% of people infected.
This percentage is called “actual failure rate of condoms use”.
This percentage cannot be denied or ignored by any campaign.
The “actual failure rate” varies from country to country, depending on the hygienic situation.
Considering that we are not in the United States or Europe, the probable situation in Papua New Guinea could have been higher.
How much? We need to conduct more researches.
The conclusion is Sir Peter cannot be surprised over the growing number of HIV infected persons. 
Despite the good intention of his campaign, he must be aware that he is using a tool that is gravely defective.
In reality, it is not a protection.
Nobody can deny that over the years, the NAC campaign against HIV/ AIDS has been totally in favour of condoms.
However, the result has been poor since the rate of HIV infection continues to rise.
The people are upset and they want to know what is happening as millions of kina have been poured into these campaigns.
Many people are now acknowledging the paramount importance of changing their behaviour in the fight against HIV/ AIDS, that is, abstinence before marriage and faithfulness after marriage.
Now that we got more than 20 years of bad experience, it is vital we do that.


Bishop Cesare Bonivento