Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Now here are the facts...

...and if I wasn't allowed to say them on TV, I can put them here instead.

The Pope has noted, correctly, that giving out condoms is certainly not saving any lives in Africa and is contributing to the problem of AIDS. Think it through properly. What spreads the disease is sexual contact with people who are infected. Distribution of condoms has led to an overall widespread increase in casual sexual contacts, as people have been told that casual sex can now be made "safe". The information that, in a controlled experiment, a condom works as a method of prevention, has to be presented against the actual overall increase in the opportunities for infection to occur. In other words, it's not just "method" that matters but the actual reality. Most sexual encounters with infected people do not occur in the circumstances that the condom-distributors have planned.

Remember, only one sexual encounter with an infected person is required to receive this deadly disease. So promotion of any policy that promotes increased sexual encounters is going to increase the overall chances of further AIDS cases day by day.

The Church offers a 100 per cent measure that will protect you from AIDS - no sexual contact with an infected person. And this works. In the Philippines, where the first cases of AIDS were reported, the Church's policies were implemented - and it has a miniscule rate of AIDS. In Thailand, condoms were promoted instead, and the death toll from AIDS is high and still rising - and the tragedy of child prostitution has grown to massive proportions.

On the TV programme we were told that 22 million people had died from AIDS in Africa. The condom policies aren't working. Why not try the alternative which works?


Anonymous said...

As ever, Joanna, you talk (shout) complete tosh and made a total fool of yourself.

James Mack said...

Can you provide any evidence to support any of the contentions you have made in this post?

Anonymous said...

I do agree...casual sexual contact is only making AIDS in Africa worse, not better. The answer to prevention of further spreading of HIV/AIDS is, in addition to not only further disclosure of a person's exposure/contraction of the disease, is abstinence. And most importantly, obedience of God's commandment to remain sexually chaste outside of the boundaries of marriage.

Patricius said...

A valiant effort to defend the Holy Father and the truth. Unfortunately the truth in this case seems to be counter-intuitive (like the earth going around the sun) as well as contrary to the media agenda.

Joanna Bogle said...

Dear James Mack

Let's take the figures. The Phillipines and Thailand both reported their first cases of HIV in 1984. Thailand enacted a widespread condom-distribution programme. The Filipino government took a different approach - the Church had a considerable influence in what is a heavily Catholic country. Figures for 2005: Thailand's cases of AIDS 580,000; The population of the Phillipines , with a population of 84 million, just 12,000, or 0.03 per cent.

Evidence from Africa is interesting, too. Uganda, which was the first country to implement a non-condom approach, had a very low percentage of AIDS infection (4 per cent of the population). Swaziland - where there was a big condom-campaign: 42.6 per cent of the population.

British Medical Journal 331 (30 July 2005) is relevant, also the World Health Organisation has useful data. Check it out.

Harry Bennett said...

Your approach on the news was abysmal. While we are all very well entitled to our opinions, you seemed to deny your opponent's and Jon's opinions enter your ears. Have your opinions, but have manners too.

Also, it's not just sexual encounters that spreads AIDS (which you insisted)- infected syringes/blood transfusions contribute, and children can be born with it too.

berenike said...

Anyway, you'd think it was obvious. Women can conceive on about 4-8 days in a menstrual cycle. Men and women can catch diseases any day of the year. Women get pregnant even if they never have sex without a condom. So presumably (have I missed something) the chances of catching a nasty and fatal disease from sex-woth-condoms are higher than those of getting pregnant from sex-with-condoms.

Arguments about casual sex and so on don't apply to teenage virgins married off to dirty old men and so on and so forth, obviously, because the poor girl isn't having any casual sex. Even more in this case throwing condoms at people is missing the point - what is the chap doing marrying the girl at all?

In any marriage, it is hardly an expression of tender spousal love, is it, playing Russian roulette in this way?

Tom said...

I have to agree with the first comment made Joanna. As a Catholic myself i would have agreed with what you were saying if i had been able to understand it through the spray of spit and bile. Of course you must get your point across, but the way you went about it (ignoring logic and free debate in favour of shouting Jon Snow and the doctor down) only further damaged yours and Catholicism's reputation. I was ashamed of you.

Tom said...

I found this on Jon Snow's blog - i think it's a very good post.

Joanna Bogle’s failure to acknowledge the plain and obvious evidence of the capacity of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, her offensive lack of courtesy and her inability to understand the most basic rules of discourse in Jon Snow’s interview with her left me feeling quite nauseous. Rarely have I seen such an appalling and embarrassing display of ignorance, fanaticism and stupidity.

Bogle signally failed to answer the question which Snow put to her, that the only intelligent thing to do in the case of a married couple, one of whom has AIDS and the other does not, is to use a condom.

Anyone who has any knowledge of AIDS will know, as Dr Rachel Baggley pointed out, that condoms are highly effective in their prevention of the transmission of HIV. Anyone who has experienced or even read about the searing pain of seeing babies dying of AIDS in their parents’ arms will know that such tragic scenarios could be avoided by the use of condoms.

Bogle, in the midst of her irrational ranting, dismissed a condom as “a piece of rubber” which could not protect you; quite the opposite is true, and is recognised by any sane, rational person, including many devout and thoughtful Christians.

The Pope’s insistence on abstinence may prevent some people from getting AIDS; but his prohibition of condoms will consign many more, probably millions, to death. Abstinence is an option, but how realistic is it to expect tens of millions of people to abstain from sexual activity for life once they have HIV/AIDS?

To claim, as Bogle did with a belief-defying and warped logic, that 22 million people have AIDS because of the condom campaign, flies in the face of reason and is a breathtaking insult to the intelligence of many thousands of viewers who must have watched this interview with increasing horror.

Such claims and views, born out of an entrenched ideology which bears no relation to reality, and expressed with an unseemly vehemence and a shocking lack of dignity, are deeply shameful and bring the Catholic Church and Christianity into disrepute.

Enbrethiliel said...


From the Jon Snow post quoted by Tom: Abstinence is an option, but how realistic is it to expect tens of millions of people to abstain from sexual activity for life once they have HIV/AIDS?

It must be because I'm from the Philippines, but I think it's reasonably realistic, in that one's pool of sexual partners would all but dry up after it becomes known that one has HIV/AIDS. I wouldn't endanger my health by sleeping with someone I knew to be infected, no matter what the precautions. I don't know anyone who would.

Now let's say that someone falls in love with a person who has HIV/AIDS, and they want to use condoms in their relationship, understanding the risks, etc. Definitely sounds responsible, aye?

Yet the fact that AIDS has infected so many people in such a short span of time seems to indicate that even if people do have condoms, they do not use them "responsibly." I agree with Joanna's statement that Most sexual encounters with infected people do not occur in the circumstances that the condom distributors have planned.

David Lindsay said...

Certain people might consider applying some journalistic or scientific objectivity to the question of where in Africa the condom use relentlessly promoted by Western NGOs and compliant governments has ever arrested, never mind reversed, the rate of HIV infection. There is nowhere.

However, such a reversal is under way in Uganda, where the government's message is the same as the Catholic Church's: "Change Your Behaviour". Huge numbers of condoms have been distributed in Botswana, and the result has been for President Festus Mogae to declare, "Abstain or die".

Who, exactly, is incapable of fidelity within a monogamous marriage and abstinence outside such a marriage? Women? Black people? Poor people? Developing-world people? Or just poor black women in the developing world?

Anonymous said...

Dear Joanna
I didn't see/hear the interview you refer to, but I feel for you if you messed it up - or feel you did. [Happens to teachers all the time:)] What matters is that you intended to defend the teachings of the Church - God looks at the heart and can bring good out of any situation, however poorly we handle it. Commit the whole situation into Our Lady's gentle hands - and move on. The Church needs you. God bless.

Michael said...

Cheer up Joanna - your intentions were honarable and your conscience should be clear. I daresay you'll look back on the experience and say "I learned a lot that day".

God bless. Gog knows what sort of comments we'd all get from time to time if our jobs were in the public eye. There but by the Grace of God go most of us.

Go and get get a nice meal and a nice glass of wine and allow yourself to relax a little.

JoannaB said...

If the government really believed that condoms prevent the spread of infection, then they wouldn't be encouraging the cervical cancer vaccine and they certainly don't do much for teenage pregnancy either.

Oli Nicholls said...

I just want to make a distinction on behalf of many Christians such as myself who are part of "the Church", but do not sign up to these views. I refer you to the website of Christian charity Tearfund. And I quote: "Christians should value life and reflect God’s love and care for all people. Sharing information about appropriate condom use can help save lives." I feel this distinction needs to be made.

Anonymous said...

Bravo to you Joanna! That interview was supposed to be an ambush, and you were having none of it. God bless you and keep spreading the TRUTH.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mac McLernon said...

Joanna, I've just seen a clip on the internet... you certainly did lose your cool, but then you were being treated shockingly badly by the interviewer, who refused to listen to your very valid points.

Don't lose heart.

Anonymous said...


I left two comments (1 by mistake) before I read somewhere else here that you don't like anonymous comments. So, if I may, I'd like to make a comment (below) and leave my name. Please delete the other two comments (talking about the interview being an ambush.) I'm hoping you can edit all of this and leave the following comment:

Bravo Joanna. The interview was an ambush from the outset. In a hostile environment you defended the Catholic position exceedingly well in my opinion. Facts are stubborn things. God bless you and keep spreading the TRUTH.

Brian Crane
California, USA

Dominic said...

Joanna, I thought you were great. You demonstrated conviction and a willingness to accept the ancient wisdom of the Church, traits sadly lacking in so many of our
apologetic and readily-conformist fellow Catholics. The solution is responsible sex.

Headbhang said...

The failure rate of abstinence is much higher than the failure rate of condoms. Take your head out of the clouds and look at the "actual reality".

Anonymous said...

According to the New York Times - not exactly a publication of the Vatican - condoms fail to prevent disease transmission 20% of the time.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites 'comprehensive and conclusive' evidence that latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are 'highly effective' in preventing heterosexual transmission of the virus that causes AIDS. The most recent meta-analysis of the best studies, published by the respected Cochrane Collaboration, concluded that condoms can reduce the transmission of the AIDS virus by 80 percent."
So, when the best quality condoms are used properly by heterosexuals, they fail 20% of the time. Isn't that what "the best studies" say, according to the 3/18/09 New York Times editorial?
If 100 people believe they can engage in risky behavior safely as long as they wear condoms, 20 of them will contract HIV; if 100 people believe that anything other than mutually faithful monogomy (in days of yore: marriage)or abstinence until marriage is unacceptably risky, 0 of them will contract HIV.
So doesn't it follow quite clearly that the use of something that fails 20% of the time instead of using something that never fails is inevitably spreading HIV?
Isn't that what the New York Times is disclosing but denying like something in Lewis Carroll?

The Transfigured said...

Brava, Joanna. It just proves how intolerate the left is when it comes to disagreement. They make up lies. Condoms do not work effectively and the radical feminist left does not want your voice to be heard. The commentaor in this program was very biased but I guess I can not expect anything less from the UK. I am ashamed to be of English blood.

Jack Daniels said...

You actually said all of that on TV. It's still wrong.

fidelis said...

If you did indeed in anyway get heated during the interview, it was because you were being treated unfairly by the interviewer. If anyone should be ashamed, he should. Thank you for standing up for the Truth. God Bless!

R. Rutherford
Mississippi, USA

Anonymous said...

Ms. Bogle, if you could guarantee that 100% of the people would "get religion" *AND* that 100% of the people would then follow it to the letter, then you might have a sound plan...

But as you yourself did state, truthfully, that it only takes one instance of contact to catch this deadly disease, then I think you all must consider the possibility of contingencies for those people who religion just does not reach.

Even within the group of people who are followers of religion, you will still have some people who slip and ignore a "church mandate" to abstain, let alone those people who (for whatever reason) just don't view the church as any sort of authority figure in their lives in the first place.

I think rather than this being an "either-or" situation, it must be viewed as a combinatorial approach.

I understand that the church position will always be that abstinence is best, but in the event that advice is ignored, then what is the backup plan?

What about people who don't adhere to the same exact "moral code" as you or I - do they not still deserve consideration for their well-being?

In the case of someone who maybe even tries to be abstinent, but then finds themselves in a moment of weakness... shouldn't we be relieved if at least they could use some protection during that moment when they sinned?

We should hope that any sinner could be able to reflect upon their behavior and repent and live a better life after seeing the error of their ways. We don't ever want to send the message that if the person has sinned that it is an automatic possible death sentence.

Abstinence may be "the best thing" (hard to argue that), but then what is "the next best thing" for those unfortunate people for whom "the best thing" did not suffice?

felix said...

everybody (from all sides of the dscussion) needs to keep in mind that the spread of HIV is never a monocausal thing. Distributing condoms in a high-rate infected country will help little if people don't use them consistently and properly, every time they have sex, if they can't be sure about their partner.
The highest risk of infection in many countries comes from infected spouses. Of course having risky sex outside of a 'safe' relationship is to be discouraged, that's a no-brainer. I doubt that distribution of condoms increases promiscuity, but I acknowledge that just telling people condoms will make sex safe when the people can't or don't use them properly will definitely not have a positive effect. A rigorous approach and a combination of multiple methods of 'containing' the disease is needed.
Calling for abstinence is well meant, but it does not work. When the infected die of Aids in large numbers and thereby reduce the statistical infection rate, it does not merit the claim that abstinence has caused the drop.
People need continuous and reinforced education about all matters of sexuality and protection, with information available as complete and substantial as possible.

Cesar said...

Good job Joanna. I just saw the attacks made against you and the Church last night and I am a university student in BC, Canada. I'd like to thank you for your courage and tenacity in this issue, values which are very much needed by our Church and our world today. Thanks for giving young people hope that the struggle against the values of the world is still very much alive. I will be keeping you in my prayers

Heather said...

Harry--You're right that infected needles/blood transfusions can spread HIV/AIDS.
I question, though, how frequent such transmissions are in Africa. While not reputed to be on the cutting edge for medical technology, IV drug use is probably quite rare.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your courage and passion in defending the Holy Father and the Catholic Church. I thought you were as brave as a lion!

Tom, London

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Joanna, why can't I have sex (casual or formal will do)after contracting HIV? After all, I'm an adult with NEEDS!!...(-* Tom G.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment from the States to say how proud I am of you, and how grateful, for this small but meaningful martyrdom on your part.

You must not beat yourself up, nor allow yourself to feel defeated in any way. Besides having faced down the Beast in his own lair, you have shown the rest of us how to do it.

Well done, brave lady!


Anonymous said...

Joanna, Thanks for standing against willful ignorance. Unfortunately, the real ideals of human dignity and intrinsic worth appear to be currently understood as one's feelings and emotions, and these change as often as the weather. Tom G. USA

Kwelos said...

Although eclipsed by the condom/HIV story, I see that on his current visit to Africa, Pope Benedict has repeated his critique of Islam regarding irrationalism and propagation by violence, though in a more low-key way than at Regensburg.

Hopefully the easily-offended ones will refrain from any reprisals.

paterson54 said...

Love how you want all these people in Africa to die Joanna, because they don't believe in your supernatural tosh.
I wonder how many more people have left the Catholic church after seeing your moronic ranting?

Anonymous said...

could you, or other folks in the know, kindly post some weblinks sources of your statistics.
Joe K (Cincinnati, US)

Eric K. Schick said...

I just watched the video and would like to commend you for fighting the good fight. If anyone believes that abstinance would not work to ELIMINATE AIDS, they are either dishonest, idiotic, or likely both. Battling Sexually Transmitted Diseases through the cunning use of sex seems an odd strategy to me, illogical even.....don't lose heart!

Anonymous said...

Strawman. One could say religion is irrelevant when looking at it through logic. No sex, no risk. Has not it been said that abstinence has been promoted in Africa in the face of increased infection caused by increased sexual activity? And that countries which encourage abstinence have lower infection rates?

Is it that hard not to have sex? Ruled by our bodies, we are. As my grandparents used to say, our lives are not truly ours, they're on loan.

By the way, I really like "A Book of Feasts & Seasons". Though my family isn't that traditional when following feast days (except major ones like Christmas), it's a fun and interesting read.

- Filipino. Impressed by our statistics.

Clare A said...


If anyone feels inclined to leave the Catholic Church because of Joanna's defence of it, they were never Catholic in the first place. I rather think that most Catholics are tired of the media establishment's disdain for the teaching of the Church, and Jon Snow is a personification of this.

To all those who come to Joanna's blog to tell her off, why don't you state your case on TV instead of ranting behind a computer screen? Joanna is generous with her time and I for one am very proud of her.

Roger said...

This interview with a nurse who works in Uganda with people with AIDS:


shows how just giving people condoms is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joanna,

I'm a great fan of yours. I watch you on EWTN and listen avidly to your husband and yourself on tape.

You were just wonderful on this hit-job - loved the passion and Jesus loved it too and He's all we need to please

Thank you for speaking for the millions who are dying of Aids in Africa who have no voice, for being our Pope's rottweiler :), and for being my voice.

BTW, we're in good company...

Harvard AIDS Expert: Pope Correct on Condom Distribution

The AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard University Center for Population and Development Studies

Harvard AIDS Expert: Pope Correct on Condom Distribution

God bless you and lots of love from NY, USA

Lee Strong said...

Facts are facts - one out of 12 condoms fail either through breaking or coming off. Thus there is a one in 12 chance of pregnancy, and of transmission of AIDS and other STDs.

The use of condoms increases sexual activity under the illusion of saftey. That one in 12 figure then comes into play to an even greater degree.