Good Reading
Essays (37)
Safe Sex and Condoms
©William Gairdner
1995

     A wishful thinker's headline, "Condoms Can Prevent Aids," was recently plastered over letters critical of my column about the natural holes in latex condoms. Critics made the point that HIV tends to travel bound to a white blood cell, which is true, and therefore the natural holes in latex are "irrelevant," which is not true, because white blood cells are smaller than the largest holes in latex.
     What is more disturbing, however, is the lazy and merely pragmatic logic relied upon to promote condom use, heard everywhere from those suffering the moral surrender common to liberalism: “the young are going to do it anyway.”
     So why doesn't this rule apply to everything?
     For example, we know quite precisely how many young will eventually die from smoking, alcohol and drug use. Yet public health officials do not (yet) enter the schools handing out samples of vodka, heroin, or free cigarettes to students. In fact, they fanatically discourage smoking, drinking and drugs - but not sex.
     Imagine a plague of the Black Death that could be caught mostly by sexual contact. Would we put free condom machines in schools? I suggest not. In a mood of officious righteousness, public health officials would quarantine, or strictly control contact with all the infected.
     Instead, AIDS is the first deadly infectious disease in our history for which the infected (about 85% male homosexuals) are uncontrolled, and roam free to infect others, while officials spend millions trying to "educate" the uninfected. To little avail. A New England Journal of Medicine survey reported on January 9, 1992, that "only 7 per cent" of newly-infected males had been warned by their infected homosexual partners. Infected individuals have even been allowed to give blood for public use, while timid public health officials turn their backs and glibly try to democratize the disease.
     In doing so, they aid and abet sexual homicide.
     On every pack of cigarettes we see a dire official WARNING about possible cancer. There are even signs in many Canadian bars - ironic from an abortion-happy government - warning pregnant moms about danger to baby from fetal alcohol syndrome. So why don't responsible health officials lobby to emboss a skull and crossbones on every condom manufactured? Then, society's double message about AIDS would be fair.
     "Hey, you tryin' to kill me?" would be the reaction.
     Now, to the facts. There is extensive research to show that while the HIV virus may be bound to a white blood cell when carried in blood, the concern with the condom is not only blood, but infected seminal fluid, and  "TESTS OF SEMINAL FLUID SHOW HIV-1 TO BE PRESENT AS FREE VIRUS PARTICLES" [V.L. Scofield, The Journal of NIH Research, 4, 105 (1992)]. And remember: one microliter of seminal fluid (all condom tests are blind to such small leaks) may contain 100,000 HIV particles, any one of which could pass through a normal hole in latex rubber without touching the sides.
     HIV-1 particles are also found as FREE PARTICLES in pre-ejaculatory fluid (G.Ilaria, et. al. The Lancet, 340, 1469 (1992). For parents and concerned citizens: there are many references to free HIV particles in seminal fluid in D.J. Anderson, The Journal of NIH Research, 4, 104, (1992).
     A 1993 review of 11 published studies on condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexually transmitted HIV concluded that condoms "may only lower risk somewhat," and that "high risk behaviour" (in this case, only heterosexual intercourse with an HIV carrier) "should be...ELIMINATED" [S.C.Weller, Social Science and Medicine, 36, 1635 (1993)].
     As for the homosexual activity so widely normalized by media and schools? There is wide agreement among researchers that condoms afford virtually no protection during anal sex. The U.S. Surgeon-General has gone public on this, declaring "anal intercourse is simply too dangerous a practice."
     As for condoms and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases? More danger. The Human Papilloma and Herpes Simplex viruses, and genital warts, thrive all over the external genital area, occur at a three times higher rate among teens than adults, and are all incurable. Syphillis is also at a new high. I say the happy-go-condom attitude of authorities has duped our trusting youth.
     So I believe it's time to admit the so-called contraceptive model based on the condom has been a failure. The program was created in the early 1970s to reduce teen pregnancy, illegitimate birth, abortion, STDs, and promiscuity. But everywhere it has been implemented, all these things - except teen live births (knocked off by abortion) - have skyrocketed.
     By 1977, Canada's own Badgley Commission had already declared the contraceptive model of Sex-Ed a failure. The late Alan Guttmacher, of Planned Parenthood, the world's largest provider of contraceptives and abortion to school children, once agreed that the model promotes high youth promiscuity.
     The U.S. Centers for Disease control says that "50-per cent of teenagers who get abortions were using contraception at the time of conception." A Johns Hopkins study reports that 28 per cent of teen pregnancies "are intentional."
     Sometime soon we are going to see a study saying "50 per cent of those who died of AIDS were using a condom at the time they got the virus" - but “safe-sex” public health officials will still be sleeping quite soundly.