Press Release 19/05/06
The NZ AIDS Foundation’s (NZAF) response to the SPCS press release (Scoop 12/05/06) that dealt with NZAF’s promotion of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission, demonstrates why this homosexual-lobby fringe group is so ineffective in reducing this growing health crisis amongst the “gay” community.
Nowhere in the SPCS article was “abstinence” mentioned, let alone as a solution to the health problem, and yet NZAF stated:
“The SPCS solution to the problem of HIV – abstinence – is unrealistic and indicative of a failed anti-sex approach to health promotion.” (Scoop 16/05/06)
SPCS attacked NZAF’s spurious and dogmatic claim that condoms will prevent the transmission of the HIV virus. Its position as clearly stated was simply this: government-funded organisations like the NZ AIDS Foundation and the Ministry of Health (MOH) are not telling the whole truth about the effectiveness of condoms in the real world. They are dishonest and their so-called “safe-sex” message using explicit pornographic images and vulgar language, have achieved very little in reducing the growing AIDS/HIV crisis among sexually active promiscuous homosexual men. Condoms will reduce the risk of infection but they are by no means “safe” and to advertise their use in “safe sex” campaigns is socially irresponsible, if not criminal.
As stated in the article by the Society, the MOH stated that estimates from international literature suggest that for receptive anal intercourse with an HIV+ man without condom use, risk of transmission of HIV is 50 per 10,000 exposures. That equates to 1 in 200. Further, Dr Doug Lush Ministry of Health Senior Advisor, Communicable Disease, and Former Acting Director of Public Health stated, “I refer you to the Cochrane Collaboration on condom use, which shows an 80% reduction in HIV incidence.”, in an interview in Investigate Magazine, July 2005. An 80% reduction equates to a rate of infection in the above case of one 1 in 1,000 if a condom is used.
The Society is fully aware that the MOH website claims condoms offer a 95% reduction with respect to the transmission of HIV. However, MOH gives no source, so the Society has wisely avoided using such data. Of course, if one were to accept that figure as a fact, the AIDS Foundation claim of a 1 in 4000 rate of infection would be correct. But Dr Lush, whose figures the Society relied on, is a Senior Advisor and Former Acting Director of Public Health. Furthermore, he provided a source for the 80% figure, which we checked and verified. We therefore feel we were justified in using the lower, more conservative figure of 80% for condom effectiveness, which Dr Lush cited.
The Society asks: Is NZAF prepared to attack Dr Lush in the same way it did the Society, labelling him “ill-informed” and his data “erroneous”, on the basis that it rejects his more conservative figure of 80% effectiveness which the Society used?
Now for the sake of argument let us say the AIDS Foundation figure of 1 in 4,000 is correct, even though they provide no proper reference for this figure. NZAF emphasise the low risk of infection based on this statistic. However, it ignores one crucial fact – the risk becomes quite high when one repeats risky behaviour – receptive anal intercourse – over a period of time. Take a homosexual couple where one is HIV+. If they have sex on average three times a week (a very conservative estimate) over a period of five years the chance of infection would be 17%. If the condom effectiveness was somewhere in the middle of the two figures (Lush’s 80% and MOH’s 95%) – say 90%, the chance of infection would be 31%.
If the homosexual activists in the government-funded AIDS Foundation lobby group consider these risks “safe”, then that would explain why the rate of HIV is so disproportionately high in the homosexual community. It is the Foundation’s misguided appreciation of the very real health risks that has led to the crisis. Male homosexuals make up less than 3% of the population, yet the vast majority of those infected in New Zealand were infected by homosexual contact. One of the main reasons for this is the high number of sexual partners many homosexuals have in places like “cruising” venues, “gay” bathhouses, public toilets etc.
It only takes a relatively small subgroup within the homosexual community to engage in repeated risky behaviour to effect a significant level of AIDS virus transmission to non-carriers. The transmission of the HIV-virus caused by the irresponsible behaviour of a subgroup of highly promiscuous infected homosexuals can go undetected by the seemingly healthy non-carriers, until such time as they front up for an AIDS test. The problem is that many of those identified as HIV+ continue in their promiscuous lifestyle believing that their multiple sex partners are running no significant risk when engaging in sex acts with them. About 40 percent of homosexual men with a regular male partner are unsure about their own HIV status, let alone their partners. Last year 89 gay men tested positive for HIV. Most were not in a serious relationship at the time (http://www.loveis.co.nz/). This is a recipe for disaster!
It is quite erroneous for NZAF to claim that having anonymous sex with another man you have just met at a public toilet or in a “gay” bath house is safe as long as a condom is used. But this fringe organisation has the gall to then claim that all happily married heterosexual couples in a committed monogamous relationship are practising unsafe sex if the choose not to use a condom.
NZAF continues to be “socially irresponsible, if not criminal” for advocating the use of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV between men who have sex with men, within clearly identifying the real risks involved.
In a desperate attempt to shore up its erroneous case, NZAF compares the risk of transmission of HIV to the Ministry of Transport estimates that seat belts reduce the risk of death in a car crash by around 40%. It order to try and ridicule the Society’s position, NZAF points out “Though driving with a seatbelt still presents some risk of harm, is anyone seriously suggesting abstaining from car travel?” (The Society never mentioned “abstinence”).
SPCS responds: “Of course not!”. The real point is that responsible car manufacturers do point out the fact that while the use of quality seatbelts will reduce the severity of injuries and save lives in most serious accidents, they provide far from absolute protection. They do not ‘eroticise’ seatbelts, or glamorise irresponsible cruising manoeuvres on the public roads in order to sing the praises of the all-sufficiency of seat belts! Rather, they support the proper use of vehicles, not the irresponsible hedonistic lifestyle equivalent of “gay” cruisers.
Car manufacturers have introduced additional safety features such as air bags not in order to encourage drivers to engage in higher risk driving manoeuvres and death-defying stunts. Even here they emphasise the limitations of such devices, something, which the NZAF ignores with respect to condoms, due to its eroticised condomania infatuation.