HIV :: Condoms – our most trusted method to prevent HIV infection and AIDS

These three words echo around the world . . . AIDS CRISIS WORSENS! – 40 million people infected worldwide – 37.2 million adults – 2.2 million children under 15.

In 2004, 4.8 million people were infected and 3.1 million people died.

Over 20 million people have died of AIDS.

Why is this happening? We have had nearly 25 years to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS!

Why aren’t people using condoms? AIDS awareness and prevention programs have seen American government policies pull funding from national and international organizations who promote and provide condoms. Religious leaders continue to ignore the need to promote the use of condoms in order to save lives and stop the AIDS epidemic. This has fueled the debate and given rise to the numbers who now promote abstinence, merely as a way to receive funding they would not otherwise receive. It is impossible to eradicate the transmission of HIV and prevent many suffering from AIDS when we have government and religious leaders undermining prevention efforts.

The majority of infections around the world are due to one simple truth that people ARE having sex without a condom!

From the early 1980’s, it was clearly understood that condoms could prevent the spread of HIV infection and AIDS. Here in Canada, prevention programs promoting and providing condoms are effective! The number of infections was significantly reduced! This was made possible because of and through AIDS awareness and prevention messages. Condoms were promoted through the government, media and public health education. Equally important, prevention messages were taken to the streets! Condoms were passed out free in bars, nightclubs and saunas. There were Safe Sex billboards and posters, stickers and even fridge magnets promoting safe sex using a condom. It worked! This is still happening today!

Canada has 57,674 known cases of HIV infection. Brazil and other countries have dramatically reduced HIV infections through safe sex campaigns promoting the use of condoms. This is not rocket science! The answer is very simple. People ARE using condoms!

The use of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV is our most trusted method of HIV prevention, accepted around the world with a success rate of 99% for condom use versus a failure rate of 88% for abstinence programs.

Condoms not only prevent HIV infections but also prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis A, B, and C. Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented.

Sexual contact accounts for 95 percent of all new HIV infections worldwide. When a person has sex without a condom, they are extremely vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

People are dying and many more millions will likely die due to the lack of condom use. Sex with a condom is by far our best resource in preventing HIV infection through sexual contact.

HIV is at epidemic proportions and the only way we are going to win this battle to prevent further spread of HIV is by EVERYONE recognizing the high importance of using a condom and continuing efforts to promote their use.

By Bradford McIntyre, HIV+ since 1984
Vancouver, Canada

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