Pope Defies Reason... surprise surprise
In a mind-numbing display of backward logic, the pope has declared that the use of condoms increases the spread of AIDS. How could a person possibly reach this conclusion except by beginning with the conclusion and trying to find some way to make the facts fit?
I know, I know... giving out condoms encourages people to have sex, and somehow or another, this actually increases the spread of AIDS. But let's get down to the nitty gritty of this claim, shall we?
Let's suppose for a moment that condoms are 95% effective at blocking the HIV virus when used properly. Don't quibble with me about the number. It's just a number, and I'm not claiming it as the gospel truth. This is about demonstrating a principle. What this means, in practical terms, is that a person infected with HIV could reasonably expect to have sex with a hundred women, and we should be quite surprised if significantly more than four or five women contracted HIV.
So, let's suppose we have two individuals -- Evil McEvil and Reynold Responsible. Both carry the HIV virus, but EE never uses a condom, while RR always does. The thing is, a single encounter with an HIV infected individual is not a guarantee to become infected. It's kind of hard to find accurate information about this. A google search has yielded figures from 1/2000 (for a single encounter) to 1/2. Just for the sake of simplicity, let's say that you have a 1/5 chance in a single encounter to contract HIV from an infected partner. Again, don't hate on me for the number. It doesn't matter.
So, let's say that RR has sex with 100 women. His condom breaks 5 times, and there's a 1/5 chance that he's going to infect his partner. So, out of one hundred sexual encounters, we should expect, on average, one infection out of a hundred.
Now, EE also has sex with 100 women. Since he is unprotected the whole time, we should expect around 20 women to become infected.
Let's return to the suggestion that handing out condoms encourages people to have more sex. Even if that's true, RR would have to have sex with 2,000 women to infect as many people as EE having sex with 100.
I don't want to put words in the Pope's mouth. As far as I know, he hasn't explicitly stated that giving out condoms encourages more sex, but regardless of whether condoms are 95% effective, or 80% effective, or 99.5% effective, the numbers are clear. For condoms to NOT help curb the spread of AIDS, people would have to have a LOT more sex after being given condoms.
Anyone have any reasonable grounds for believing that's what would happen? Any studies from schools where condoms were passed out? Do they have 20 times more sex?