Dangerous Advice

Archishop Francisco Chimoio in Mozambique has claimed that two unnamed European countries are infecting condoms with the HIV virus as part of a program to wipe out Africans (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7014335.stm  ) Even if any European Governments were genocidally minded,this would not work as the HIV virus dies very quickly outside of human bodily fluids.

We all know, of course, that the Catholic Church regards condoms as a Bad Thing because they are used as a means of birth control. It could simply be that His Stupidity is using crude scare tactics to prevent his flock from using condoms. If this is so, then it would appear that his flock do not fear God’s wrath which gives me hope that enlightenment is reaching southern Africa.

There are other possible motivations though. “Woodchopper” on http://www.badscience.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3231&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0  quotes a Guardian article by Andrew Brown which points out that encouraging dangerous behaviour by others can favour ones own group. The Catholic Church requires its followers to have sex only in monogamous marriages. A lot of people disregard this view but many hold to it. Put bluntly, if people believe Chimoio, those who have sex outside marriage, particularly those who have multiple partners, are much more likely to become infected with HIV and eventually die of AIDS.

It may not be his conscious intention but the result of people believing the Archbishop’s advice will ultimately be the extinction of those cultural groups that differ from Catholic orthodoxy. In effect, genocide without resorting to machetes, guns or death camps.

While we are on the subject of crap AIDS advice in Africa,  in his 20 January 2007 Bad Science column http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,,1994876,00.htmlBen Goldacre covered Anthony Brink’s ludicrous attempt to accuse Zackie Achmat of genocide because of his (Z.A.’s) campaign to make the South African Government provide antiretrovirals to all HIV positive people in South Africa. Brink claims that antiretrovirals are poisoning people. It is true that AZT and other AIDS drugs can have unpleasant side effects but I would have thought that being dead is even more unpleasant. I do not pretend to understand Brink’s purpose in making this accusation but if his advice is heeded, South Africa’s appalling AIDS record (Five million infected, one thousand deaths per day) will soon be broken.

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