IN my opinion, Dr Thomas Vinit has missed the point in the condom debate.
BAHA, Sir Peter Barter and Prof Glen Mola are advocate of condom use over abstinence and “be faithful” with some persuasive discourses.
The pro-condom arguments are compelling with the crux of their debate centred on practicality.
Abstinence and “be faithful” are unarguably the most effective methods of HIV prevention but are not pragmatic in today’s sexually-charged society.
Dr Vinit’s campaign against condoms would make the Pope proud but dissuading the use of condom’s through misinformation is obstructive to the nation’s fight against this epidemic.
In his letter “Condoms do not prevent HIV/AIDS” (The National, Feb 17), he said the size of the HIV virus versus the micropores in a condom as the reason why condoms are “useless in the fight against HIV/AIDS”.
In his “0.000000001m” HIV virus size versus the “0.001m micropore of a condom” argument, Dr Vinit conveniently chooses to ignore the fact that the HIV virus is not a free-ranging microscopic bug.
From all my reading, HIV needs bodily fluids to survive, therefore, if semen or other bodily secretions are effectively contained by the latex in condoms, HIV transmission cannot take place.
His remark on the exponential rise of HIV cases since 1987 should give impetus to and further demonstrate that PNG is becoming increasingly promiscuous and sexually liberal, meaning more people are having affairs and involving themselves with multiple sex partners.
These people must not be patronised by some vitriolic bigotry as promoted by The National’s editorial (Feb 5) but given concrete options of protection against HIV/AIDS.
In 2003, the BBC aired an interview that featured the Vatican promoting essentially a similar argument to Dr Vinit.
These comments were scathingly rebutted by both the scientific community and the World Health Organisation, who continue to advocate the “correct and consistent use of condoms” as the greatest chance of limiting the spread of HIV.