» 05/08/2009 12:45
Catholic Doctors in Asia: condoms do not stop the spread of HIV
by Santosh Digal
Thailand promotes use of condoms and registers 570 thousand cases of HIV infections compared to 9 thousand in the Philippines. Doctors denounce pressures from members of parliament to promote family planning methods. Yesterday the European Parliament rejected an amendment to condemn the pope for his views on condoms.
Manila (AsiaNews) – Condoms are inefficient in the fight against Aids says the Catholic Doctors association, nurses and health care workers in Asia (ACIM-Asia), who also denounce family planning methods through the use of condoms.
Yolly Eileen Gamutam, head of ACIM-Asia, is categorical: “Condoms are highly dangerous”. The woman points to the example of Thailand where the widespread promotion and use of condoms has failed. By the end-2003, Thailand registered the highest percentage of HIV/AIDS cases with 570,000 adults and children living with HIV as compared to 9,000 in the Philippines. There were 58,000 AIDS related deaths in 2003 for Thailand while only 500 are recorded in the Philippines.
Gamutam underlines how “this only shows that the condom use program in Thailand is not effective”. And adds: “Even if all brothels were required to have supplies of condoms, and if they were available in all supermarkets, bars, restaurants, and other public gathering places still it would not deter the widespread of HIV/AIDS”. Quoting Benedict XVI, the doctors recall that abstinence and conjugal faithfulness are the most effective methods in combating the disease.
Members of ACIM-Asia are also accusing a parliamentary Committee, dedicated to promote birth control policies, of exercising undue pressure on the government to guarantee funding. Supported by European Parliament members, their Filipino colleagues are asking that the budget for family planning measures is increased from 180 million to 2 billion Pesos (more that 30 million Euros).
And last but not least, yesterday the European Parliament rejected – with 253 no votes, 199 yes and 61 abstentions – an amendment to condemn the pope for his views on condoms. It had been put forward by two members of the Liberal Democrats group, to “firmly condemn” Benedict XVI’s affirmations on the use of condoms in fighting AIDS, during his recent trip to Africa.