Saturday, September 29, 2007

Catholic Church and AIDS, and Ignorance too!

The comment below was left on the post about "Infected Condoms", and on a blog I don't think I have seen before: Just Doing My Best I found this: "Of course, I have real issues with the Catholic Church. It's because I went to a Catholic school".

"She explained the areas in which she has issues with the Church. It was all the usual suspects - the Catholic Church is responsible for the spread of AIDS in Africa because it doesn't encourage the use of condoms and its aid organisations don't give them out free; the Catholic Church forces young girls who have been raped to go through with the pregnancies that result; the Catholic Church makes people have too many children because it opposes contraception..."

Have a look at the blog, and his/her answers.

The Catholic countries in west central Africa have very low HIV rates (only north African Muslim countries have lower), while the countries in southern Africa with the horrific rates are all (with the exception of Lesotho)
Protestant countries. Some stats if you doubt this ...

There are actually only five "Catholic countries" in Africa (i.e. countries in which 50% or more are Catholic). Here are the HIV levels for these 5 countries ...

Equatorial Guinea - 94 % Catholic - 3 % adults with HIV
Burundi - 65 % Catholic - 3 % adults with HIV
Lesotho - 54 % Catholic - 23 % adults with HIV
Congo - 50 % Catholic - 5 % adults with HIV
Angola - 50 % Catholic - 4 % adults with HIV

And here are the countries with the highest HIV levels ...

Swaziland - 33 % adults with HIV - 6 % Catholic
Botswana - 24 % adults with HIV - 5 % Catholic
Lesotho - 23 % adults with HIV - 54 % Catholic
Zimbabwe - 20 % adults with HIV - 9 % Catholic
Namibia - 20 % adults with HIV - 17% Catholic
South Africa - 19 % adults with HIV - 6% Catholic

The fact that Lesotho (the only Catholic country in southern Africa) has a high HIV level like its Protestant neighbours shows that it is geography - and not religious affiliation or Church teaching - that is the determining factor.

Source of HIV data:

We Catholics seem to produce an incredible number of ignorant people, in my own parish similar questions ar so often put by people who really should know better. What I mean is people who have spent bertween 11 and 13 years in a Catholic school. Why are these basic facts never put over? Could it be that we are either not listening to people or simply not repeating the facts often enough?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. Those statistics really blow the whole "condoms protect against AIDS" argument out of the water.