Mickey Malta

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Posts Tagged ‘Condoms

Please, Please, Please USE CONDOMS

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He must really have an issue with rubber johnnies

He must really have an issue with rubber johnnies

This report from today’s TMI (http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=85258) makes interesting reading:

Church campaign against condoms ‘obstinate and very dangerous’

Philip Carabot, consultant in genito-urinary (GU) medicine, has described the Catholic Church’s campaign against the use of condoms as “obstinate and very dangerous”.

Asked to comment on Pope Benedict’s recent declaration that the spread of HIV and Aids in Africa should be tackled through fidelity and abstinence, and not by condoms, Dr Carabot told this newspaper: “We all agree that condoms alone will not halt the spread of Aids or any other sexually transmitted infection (STI), and we also need abstinence and fidelity.”

However, he said, it is very sad, indeed tragic, that in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence in favour of the use of condoms to limit spread of disease, the Catholic Church continues with its “obstinate and very dangerous campaign” against their use.

“In an ideal world, if we all had to abstain from sex, and/or only have sex within marriage as the Church preaches, then we would not be having this interview.”

Being the head of the GU clinic at Boffa Hospital, Dr Carabot treats people diagnosed with STIs on a daily basis.

“But we don’t live in an ideal world,” he goes on, “the reality is that people do, and will always have sex when they decide to do so, and we must cater for this reality.”

The Church campaigns to try and use scientific evidence to discredit condoms has backfired badly, since the vast bulk of mainstream, peer-reviewed medical evidence does not agree with its stance, said Dr Carabot.

To oppose condoms on theological grounds is perfectly understandable and legitimate, he explained, but to twist scientific evidence to suit one’s purpose is totally unacceptable.

“Sometimes we are so full of dogma that we lose track of our humanity,” he said.

Linked to the Church’s stance on condom use in Africa, Malta is indirectly affected, as the illegal immigration phenomenon has brought with it an increase in the number of certain diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS.

But Dr Carabot has long been worried about the increasing number of STIs in general, which he said he believes are grossly under-diagnosed, irrespective of where they come from.

STIs are all very much inter-related and the presence of one opens the door to another, he said, adding that while HIV is still the most “newsworthy”, all STIs have the potential of very serious long-term complications.

Malta still has no National Sexual Health Policy, which has been in the pipeline for 10 years now.

In July last year, The Malta Independent on Sunday reported that practically every mention of condoms in the second draft of the National Sexual Health Policy had been removed.

Dr Carabot had commented: “Condoms are not the answer to all our problems, but they play an essential role in prevention. The ‘revised’ draft policy we received was out of date in many areas and included a number of inaccuracies”.

Another draft has been drawn up, and presented to Social Policy Minister John Dalli, who referred to the matter as a “hot potato” during a press conference yesterday.

Mr Dalli said the draft is being finalised and should be presented to the Cabinet at the end of April. Both the minister and Dr Carabot refused to publicly speak about the details of the draft policy before it is discussed in Cabinet.

Parliamentary Secretary Joe Cassar, asked to comment, said that “condoning or not what the Pope says does not fall within the remit of the Health Secretariat”


Written by mickeymalta

26/03/2009 at 16:28