Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Obianuju Ekeocha

12/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I guess we could say that with one hand they pretend to extinguish the consuming fire of HIV and with the other hand they stoke the fire of sexual immorality in our communities. And so the fire continues!

In a bid to promote a Godless ideology and culture reminiscent of a sexual revolution, some of the rich donor organizations and countries have blindly inflicted much pain on Africa through their HIV "prevention" programs that have done quite the opposite of what they promised. So far, they have not helped Africans but have harmed us. They have not enriched but impoverished us. They have not strengthened but weakened us. They have not freed but shackled us. Tragic indeed!

Obianuju Ekeocha is an African woman, living and working in the United Kingdom as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist. She is also the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion of a Culture of Life in Africa  through the dissemination of good information, sensitisation and education. She has written several articles including the 'Open Letter to Melinda Gates'  and 'Africa in the redefined world (An Open Letter to President Obama)' Her passion and privilege is to continue to work in defence of the sanctity and dignity of life within Culture.

Obianuju Ekeocha is an African woman, living and working in the United Kingdom as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist. She is also the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion of a Culture of Life in Africa through the dissemination of good information, sensitisation and education. She has written several articles including the "Open Letter to Melinda Gates" and "Africa in the redefined world (An Open Letter to President Obama)" Her passion and privilege is to continue to work in defence of the sanctity and dignity of life within Culture.

Highlights

By Obianuju Ekeocha

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: ENUGU, Nigeria, World Aids Day, Condoms, IPPF, Planned Parenthood, ABC program, Uganda


ENUGU, Nigeria (Catholic Online) - The First of December was World AIDS day - but there is so little attention these days given to the most serious pandemic that has ravaged, claimed and viciously crushed the lives of millions of people with an astounding 35 million people living with AIDS around the world and almost 70% of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

And even though no more gripping documentaries are being made to highlight the rapid spread of HIV, each year more than 2 million new HIV infections are still reported worldwide with a staggering annual death toll of about 1.6 million deaths. AIDS is a very sobering reality that has claimed and is still claiming too many precious lives across the world and particularly in Africa.

So the World AIDS day should not pass by in eerie silence. Rather, it ought to be a day of deep reflection, a day of soul searching and a day of tears for lives that have been cut short by a killer virus that is incurable and merciless in everyway. With a death toll so high, we ought to be asking why this virus has not been eradicated.

Earlier this year, I had a series of interesting email correspondences with a wonderful South African man over the reality and trajectory of humanitarian aid and interventions in Africa. And one of his emails to me was about the tragic failure of the condom-agenda in South Africa in the face of HIV. I found his email so profoundly moving that I decided to share it (at least a portion of it) as a primer for reflection on this World AIDS day:

Dear Uju.

I live in KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa - the province with (until recently) the highest rate of HIV transmission in South Africa, which has the highest rate of HIV of countries in Africa - and guess what? Every government Department and every Municipal office has free condoms everywhere - by the box load! You would think that people would eventually put 2 and 2 together!

While traditional communities celebrate chastity through their values and large cultural annual gatherings, the more "sophisticated" or "educated" are trying to impose their supposedly "more advanced" agendas, which are contributing to the breakdown of the most fundamental building blocks of society - our families!

And after reading this, I asked myself: when will the rich donors listen to Africans? When will they concede the undeniable failure of their multi-billion dollar condom projects ? When will they count the graves of our people who have succumbed to HIV (contracted in needlessly reckless sexual behaviour)?

More than 1 million Africans died last year due to HIV, and more than 1 million more will go the same way before the next World AIDS day. We are falling like flies into the web of this virus and yet they will not listen to our voices.

When HIV/AIDS became an epidemic in Africa, the ABC prevention plan was developed in response to it.
As a model for prevention the ABC approach stands for:
A - Abstinence before marriage
B - Be faithful in marriage or to one partner
C- Condom use if A and B are impossible

The A and B approaches were raised as the most effective ways of preventing the wild spread of HIV within our African communities. And the C approach was understood and accepted as being the (somewhat inadequate) protection for the so-called 'high-risk' members of society (mainly sex-workers), people whose high-risk sexual behaviour could not easily be changed and who were bound to always have multiple sexual partners.

This ABC program showed great success when it was launched in Uganda, a country with record high HIV infection rate in the general population. The number of young unmarried people having sex plummeted and so did the number of Ugandans reporting multiple partners. An impressive behaviour change was seen across the country.  And national HIV infection rates fell between 1992 and 2002, from 21 % to 6%. This is by far the most outstanding success story of HIV prevention on record since the onset of the AIDS pandemic.

But even with this documented success in Uganda, the international health and humanitarian organisations,have chosen a different prevention model that would not require or demand any sexual restraint or responsibility whatsoever. They have developed a core prevention message that is tightly wrapped around the condom, with very little or no support at all for abstinence programs. 

Groups have fallen in line with the new priorities. Led by the UNFPA, there is a louder and stronger emphasis on flooding Africa with condoms. Most recently they launched a multi-million dollar campaign across Africa known as the 'Condomise Project '. 

How disturbing to see that where the African youth is not getting educated, they are getting condomised! Against the views and values of the African people, these large and powerful organisations continue to push and promote condoms in our African schools and institutions of higher learning.

There was a twitter message by IPPF a few weeks ago during the family planning conference in Africa. From what this message said,the IPPF Program Officer is speaking to TIME magazine about "equipping" the (African) youth with condoms. How does one equip the youth with condoms? We always thought you equip the youth with good education and training, but here we have a high official of a major international organisation boldly claiming that the youth should be "equipped" with condoms.

This captures the morally-twisted mindset of some of these international organisations that have chosen to promote and even in many cases incite high risk sexual behaviour among our youth. While the African parents are not looking, their children are encouraged to become sexually active and then 'condomized' for their protection.

But in truth, condoms never adequately protect anyone. According to well documented research, when properly used, condoms are only about 80% - 90% effective in preventing HIV transmission.Put differently, in the most perfect use of Condom, it still has a 10%-20% failure rate. Not reassuring at all for an incurable and deadly disease.

But of course it's even worse in reality. The guaranteed protection is completely dependent on "Perfect Use", which is a term that indicates that a product has been used exactly and correctly as specified by manufacturer.

In other words, the condom has to be used exactly right, and there is no margin for error. Any slippage or breakage (even in the slightest) would drastically reduce the guaranteed protection and put the users at very high risk. And in practice, we know that when it comes time to use a condom, Perfect Use is difficult if not impossible to achieve due to obvious distractions in the heat of the moment.

According to documented research by medical science specialists (like Professor Edward Green) who have studied the spread of HIV specifically in Sub Saharan Africa, the portion of users in the African population who attain Perfect Use with every single condom usage is alarmingly low and it is indeed this human error in usage that has led to unbelievably high numbers of new HIV infections in parts of Africa where the condom culture is most promoted.

For instance, South Africa has one of the strongest condom campaigns in Africa with the government providing free condoms in almost all public facilities and yet South Africa has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. This trend has also been seen in other high HIV prevalence areas like Zimbabwe and Boswana where the condom culture has been implanted especially among the youth.

So, no! We should not seek to "equip" our youth with condoms because, with a failure rate so high, condom has become in South Africa, Zimbawe and Botswana, the loaded weapon put into the minds, hands and pockets of the young. And we have seen truck-loads of it being brought to the most bustling cities as well as the most remote villages, and as they throw it at the killer virus in Africa, the virus keeps spreading, thriving, and killing our people without mercy.

The most unfortunate thing is that even with the undeniable evidence of failure in the present prevention plan, the international organisations still adamantly choose to continue with their failed methods by pushing and promoting condom-use as the be-all and end-all of HIV prevention while forming and framing the message of casual sex with all sorts of highly eroticised lurid literature tied to their expensive projects .

I guess we could say that with one hand they pretend to extinguish the consuming fire of HIV and with the other hand they stoke the fire of sexual immorality in our communities. And so the fire continues!

One of the many morally offensive materials in circulation is "Happy, Healthy and Hot" is a 30-page guide put together by the IPPF particularly aimed at adolescents (single, unmarried adolescents), including and especially those living with HIV. Even though this booklet is clearly a direct incitement to unspeakable high-risk sexual behaviours , it was nonetheless accepted and distributed at the United Nations in 2010 to adolescents. It is highly offensive, morally objectionable and, yes, only a blink away from being pornographic, made all the worse because it is aimed at the youth who are impressionable.

There are many similar materials in circulation from one country to the next, and they are all functional parts of a well-funded, passive aggressive move to weaken our moral values while disregarding all that we hold dear in our cultural and religious heritage.

It is very tragic for us that, in a bid to promote a Godless ideology and culture reminiscent of a sexual revolution, some of the rich donor organizations and countries have blindly inflicted much pain on Africa through their HIV "prevention" programs that have done quite the opposite of what they promised. So far, they have not helped Africans but have harmed us. They have not enriched but impoverished us. They have not strengthened but weakened us. They have not freed but shackled us. Tragic indeed!

So we beg them to count the graves of our people who have succumbed to HIV and reconsider their prevention techniques and methods, because real behaviour-change is still possible in Africa. With the right support and the right programs, the African people would choose the better way of abstinence and fidelity. They will no longer hang their lives on the latex which cannot even guarantee them a 100% chance of escaping the killer virus in Africa.

-----
Obianuju Ekeocha is an African woman, living and working in the United Kingdom as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist. She is also the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion of a Culture of Life in Africa  through the dissemination of good information, sensitisation and education. She has written several articles including the "Open Letter to Melinda Gates"  and "Africa in the redefined world (An Open Letter to President Obama)" Her passion and privilege is to continue to work in defence of the sanctity and dignity of life within Culture.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Africa

Kidnapping of 100 Nigerian women and children believed to be dreaded Boko Haram Watch

Image of Boko Haram has cut a bloody swath throughout the oil-rich nation of Nigeria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although no one has yet claimed responsibility, the kidnapping of 100 Nigerian women and children - in addition to the ruthless slaughter of 35 other people have the bloody fingerprints of terrorist group Boko Haram all over it. The attack took place at the ... continue reading


No solutions: Dakar Peace and Security Summit declared a failure Watch

Image of Chadian President Idriss Deby said that the goal in Libya was accomplished, as the NATO's objective was to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

Only three heads of state attended the Dakar Peace and Security Summit. At the closing of the forum, entitled "Forum on Peace and Security in Africa" earlier this week, Chadian President Idriss Deby said that the goal in Libya was accomplished, as the NATO's ... continue reading


Haftar's forces gain control of new territory between Libya, Tunisia Watch

Image of Fajr Libya remains entrenched inside distant lands. This strategy aims at isolating the Tunisian Islamists, cutting contact between the Libyan and Tunisian Islamist militias.

By Kaci Racelman, Catholic Online

Forces loyal to the retired general Khalifa Haftar have successfully conquered Rass Jedir in the borders between Libya and Tunisia. That battle raged in the early morning hours of Monday, December 15. Fajr Libya was won, but not definitely, as the other side ... continue reading


Eleven illegal migrants from Niger die in traffic accident in Ghardaia Watch

Image of The bus was carrying illegal migrants from Niger who were in the process of being repatriated to their countries of origin, at the request of the Niger government.

By Kaci Racelman, catholic Online

Terrible luck remains a given for illegal migrants traveling in the Sahel region. After enduring much pain and hardship in their flight to a better life, a terrible fate came to 11 illegal migrants from Niger. All perished in a horrific traffic accident this past ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria: STOP CHEMICAL WARFARE ON POOR WOMEN!

Image of We firmly declare that this is not democratic and is even unethical to continue the agenda of throwing commodities with known dangers and potential risks at the vulnerable peoples of the world who are often uninformed about all the issues concerned.- Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

By Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

This easy-to-administer form of an old drug by Pfizer Incorporated is being hailed by many as the magic wand to reduce poverty and emancipate poor women in over 69 countries around the world especially in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.In the current ... continue reading


Release of French hostages reason for deep concern in North Africa - WHY? Watch

Image of The release of French hostages Serge Lazarevic, pictured, who was snatched in Mali in November of 2011 along with his fellow Frenchman Philippe Verdon, has led to a feeling of dread in many North African countries.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

It would appear that the release of any hostage held by terrorist forces would be a reason for celebration. However, the release of French hostages Serge Lazarevic, who was snatched in Mali in November of 2011 along with his fellow Frenchman Philippe Verdon, ... continue reading


Stepping up to the plate: Algeria continues to work with refugees from Niger Watch

Image of High winds and freezing weather is having its effect in hastily constructed Niger refugee camps in Algeria.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Winter arrives at an extremely inopportune time for Niger migrants taking shelter in Algeria. High winds and freezing weather is having its effect in hastily constructed refugee camps here. Many migrants lack winter clothing and shelter. Algeria is doing what ... continue reading


Islamic state extending influence throughout North Africa Watch

Image of Eastern Libya is becoming more attractive to agents affiliated with Islamist State.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Terrorists belonging to the Jund al Khilafah group are rapidly establishing bases in eastern Libya. According to local sources, they number no less than 200. It's believed that they are preparing for significant attacks in the North African region. Jund al ... continue reading


SO OTHERS MAY LIVE: Ebola survivors crucial to turning back deadly tide Watch

Image of Thousands of Ebola survivors with little to no risk of re-infection are critical to controlling the epidemic and training them has the potential to save thousands of lives and decrease the spread of the virus.

By Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thousands of Ebola survivors with little to no risk of re-infection are critical to controlling the epidemic and training them has the potential to save thousands of lives and decrease the spread of the virus, experts said on Wednesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


Qatar to host important summit on Islamist State Watch

Image of The Gulf States have avoided the disintegration and all eyes are now turned to the reconciliation as being motivated by the persistence of the threat in the whole region.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Qatar is hosting an important summit to discuss the persistence of the Islamist threat as well as the impact of the collapse of oil prices as a primary source of income. After being accused by much of North Africa and Sahel of destabilizing the region due to ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter