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Archive for the ‘Sexually Transmitted Disease’ Category

Jill Stanek writes a column at WorldNetDaily yesterday entitled, Under Obama, STD Super Strains All the Rage. It’s a must read.

The money line from the article: “Political correctness and liberal ideology both cause and aggravate the spread of communicable and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Jill is right. Read her article before proceeding here.

Liberals don’t ‘get it’ when it comes to the prevention of spreading infectious diseases. That’s because, for them, ideology trumps all. Yesterday, I ran the third in a series of articles on the condom controversy, showing the data that indicate pretty conclusively the conclusion that condoms don’t work. But liberals are wed to the sexual revolution, because that’s where their roots are: in the communist and eugenic revolutions of the 20th Century, a point I hope is being underscored by my ongoing expose on Margaret Sanger.

The sexual revolution is key in redefining marriage and family; selling out 2,000 years of Christian Civilization for an orgasm, most not very good ones at that.

But what of this multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB). While the facts cited by Jill about TB hitching a ride with HIV, the ugly truth is that New York City is ground zero for MDRTB. It’s an interesting story.

Following the national scandal uncovered by young investigative journalist Geraldo Rivera at the Willowbrook State School for the Mentally Retarded in the early 1970’s, the national landscape with regard to the mentally ill began to change. Willowbrook was a residential facility built for 4,000 but housed 6,000 and was called a “snake pit” by Senator Robert Kennedy. The cruelty and depredations there beggared the imagination. See some of the report here. The closure of Willowbrook heralded the age of group homes and day treatment facilities. This was a powerful and positive step forward. Soon, attention focussed on the mental hospitals, teeming with residents.

New York State Governor Hugh Carey facilitated the virtual emptying of the mental hospitals, returning the patients to the community. In cash-strapped New York City, struggling back from the brink of bankruptcy in 1976, and caught in the economic meltdown of the Carter Presidency, there was simply not enough money for adequate police and fire protective services, much less appropriate monitoring of the mentally ill now in the community. Many began to fall through the cracks, and homelessness began growing. Also, one of the programs to suffer was the TB monitoring program. Then, in 1986-1990 the crack cocaine epidemic hit with a vengeance. People lost their jobs and apartments. Overnight, the city was deluged with the newly homeless. Scrambling for a solution, the city opened its vast National Guard Armories, whose parade floors housed thousands of homeless people each on cots eighteen inches apart. TB-infected crack addicts stopped their year-long antibiotic treatment mid-way, creating through natural selection, resistant strains of TB.

To make matters worse, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB is an airborne pathogen, which spread like wildfire among a homeless population whose immune systems were compromised from drug addiction, malnutrition, and increasingly, HIV acquired through prostitution engaged in to get money for more crack.

It was a combination of good intentions and their unintended consequences, coupled with the financial consequences of liberal elitist profligate spending, and a political establishment that refused to heed the warnings about condom inefficiency and over-reliance that I linked in this post.

The perfect storm.

The result was that New York City became the worlds leading exporter of MDRTB. That, coupled with Planned Parenthood’s relentless advocacy of condom use, with their 15% failure rate, rather than advocating sexual continence in the face of three diseases that travel together in weakened hosts, has led us to this Armageddon.

Cardinal O’Connor was right. Good morality is good medicine.

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John Cardinal O'Connor

WARNING: The subject matter in this post deals candidly with sexually transmitted infections and diseases and their modes of transmission. Minors and persons easily upset by the nature of such discussion are advised to skip over this post.

In Part II of this series (Part I here. Part II here. Part IV here.) we examined the disconnect between ACT-UP’s rhetoric on condoms and the published reports in The New York Times during the two years prior to ACT-UP’s desecration of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. In this article, we’ll consider some epidemiological data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and see if perhaps the rhetoric is supported by the data.

The graphs below come from CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, 2008, with the exception of the HIV data, which is also CDC data available here. For purposes of classification, I have divided these diseases into two groups: A & B. This division is entirely my own and not a CDC classification scheme.

GROUP A DISEASES

Number of AIDS cases, AIDS deaths, and people living with AIDS, 1985-2004, United States (CDC, n.d.a)

Chlamydia

Genital Warts (HPV) Initial Visits to Doctor's Office

Herpes Simplex Virus

Trichomoniasis and Other Vaginitis


.
.

GROUP B DISEASES

Chancroid

Syphilis

Gonorrhea


.
.

Explaining the Data

In making sense out of these data, they have been divided into two groups based upon some shared characteristics.

Group A data all show the incidence of disease trending steadily upward. These diseases also share another common characteristic. They all possess the capacity to remain ‘silent’, or asymptomatic in a large percentage of their victims.

HIV Less than half of infected people develop a conversion reaction with its flu-like symptoms.
Trichomonas Though curable with drugs, up to 1/3 of women are asymptomatic carriers.
Human Papilloma Virus (Genital Warts) 60% chance of infection with one contact. Up to 1/3 women remain asymptomatic.
Genital Herpes 80%-90% of people fail to recognize symptoms or have no symptoms at all. They may still shed the virus.
Chlamydia 70%-80% of women have no symptoms. 25%-50% of men have no symptoms.

HPV and Herpes are contact transmission infections. Any exposed skin on the penis not covered by the condom, or on the labia contacting exposed penile skin with condom use, can become infected with a single act of intercourse. These diseases are also spread by oral-genital transmission.

The prevalence line in the HIV graph indicates the number of people living with HIV. As is evident, the rate continues to soar.

The question needs to be asked, with the explosion in condom usage and sales over the past 25 years, why the steady rise in these STI’s? Chlamydia experts believe that the rise in the graph is the result of a combination of better testing methods and mandatory reporting that didn’t come about until the late 1990’s. While that’s understandable, the basal level of infection was not always this high in the population.

Indeed, the graphs all indicate that prior to 1968, the disease rates, even in diseases that had mandatory reporting were extremely low. The graphs tell the sad story of the sexual revolution that really got going with the widespread availability of the pill in the late 1960’s.

This soaring rate of STI’s and STD’s can be explained by the condom bible. Consider an excerpt from the following book available to be read online:

Case Against Condoms: Death by Latex
By Brian Clowes, PhD
Director of Research Worldwide
Human Life International

The book Contraceptive Technology is the most authoritative source of information on all methods of birth control in the world today. This two-inch thick book is often referred to as the “family planner’s bible,” and is revised every few years in order to include updated information. The latest edition was published in 2004, and it is considered by family planners to be the “last word” on all matters contraceptive…

According to Contraceptive Technology, the condom’s user effectiveness rate is 85 percent [9]. This means that, under real-world conditions, a woman whose sexual partners use condoms for every act of sexual intercourse has a 15 percent chance of becoming pregnant in a year.
Figure 2 shows the chances of pregnancy for a woman whose sexual partners faithfully use condoms for 83 average annual instances of sexual intercourse.[10]
Keep in mind that these are the lowest rates that can generally be expected, since they assume 100% condom usage.

Figure 2
Probability of Pregnancy Over Time for Women Whose Sexual Partners Always Use Condoms

1 year 15 percent
2 years 28 percent
3 years 39 percent
4 years 48 percent
5 years 56 percent
10 years 80 percent

It must be stressed that these are probabilities for pregnancy, which can only occur one week per month. Slippage and breakage happen the other three weeks out of the month as well.

How then do we explain the data in Group B? Why the decline?

These diseases manifest immediately, and in the case of gonorrhea and chancroid, painfully. People seek medical treatment immediately, as all three of these diseases are curable with antibiotics. Not so for the viral diseases in Group A. There are no silent infections in Group B to enable transmission between a series of unsuspecting partners. Note too that the infections in gonorrhea and chancroid declined precipitously only at the outset of the HIV pandemic in the mid-late 1980’s. That’s when public health officers required names of partners in order to go out into the community and dry up the reservoir of pathogens. The same for syphilis.

In Group A, because the infections remain asymptomatic in so many for so long, the diseases are able to be transmitted unchecked. Unlike the pathogens in Group B, it’s next to impossible to dry up the reservoir of Trichomonas and Chlamydia because they lurk silently for months to years. The viral diseases HIV and Herpes cannot be eliminated, only held in check. To a good extent, HPV resolves spontaneously in most people, but not before being transmitted.

If condoms were so effective and could be rightly credited for the declines seen in group B, then we would have seen declines in Group A pathogens, minimally Chlamydia and Trichomonas, as well.

Some might argue that there is simply an increase in the number of young people having sex without condoms. Certainly some of these increases in Group A can rightly be attributed to this. Even stipulating this point does not diminish the 15% condom failure rate detailed above, nor does it obviate the fact that condoms do not cover the entire penis, hence not protecting against the spread of HPV and Herpes. The false sense of security leads people to engage in more frequent sex, often with several partners either at once or serially, leading to a greater probability of disease transmission through skin contact, oral sex, or catastrophic condom failure.

Finally, there is CDC’s own Fact Sheet on the Male Latex Condom for Public Health Personnel.

“Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In addition, consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including diseases transmitted by genital secretions, and to a lesser degree, genital ulcer diseases. Condom use may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-associated diseases, e.g., genital warts and cervical cancer.”

Finally consider this statement from the fact sheet:

“The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

That’s as close a vindication of Cardinal O’Connor and the Bishops are likely to get from CDC. It seems very much like a variant expression of traditional morality, which is abstinence before and fidelity in marriage.

CDC gives no guarantees beyond that, and very little encouragement in the way of condom safety.

Next Wednesday: The efficacy of abstinence programs.

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LifeNews reports, Obama Admin Forces Americans to Pay for More Embryonic Stem Cell Research: “National Institutes of Health chief Francis Collins approved taxpayer funding of 27 more lines of embryonic stem cells.”

Having overturned the Bush administration’s restrictions, we are headed in the wrong direction morally, but also scientifically. Embryonic stem cell research has consistently yielded tumors in lab animals, whereas adult stem cell research has led to hundreds of therapeutic applications in humans.

To be certain, Collins has set limits by funding an additional 27 lines of cells. Prudent caution? Consider this quote from former Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Leon Kass, M.D., in Human Cloning and Human Dignity, The Report of the President’s Council on Bioethics:

“We should not be self-deceived about our ability to set limits on the exploitation of nascent life. What disturbs us today we quickly or eventually get used to; yesterday’s repugnance gives way to tomorrow’s endorsement. A society that already tolerates the destruction of fetuses in the second and third trimesters will hardly be horrified by embryo and fetus farming (including in animal wombs), if this should turn out to be helpful in the cure of dreaded diseases.

“We realize, of course, that many proponents of cloning-for-biomedical-research will recommend regulations designed to prevent just such abuses (that is, the expansion of research to later-stage cloned embryos and fetuses). Refusing to erect a red light to stop research cloning, they will propose various yellow lights intended to assure ourselves that we are proceeding with caution, limits, or tears. Paradoxically, however, the effect might actually be to encourage us to continue proceeding with new (or more hazardous) avenues of research; for, believing that we are being cautious, we have a good conscience about what we do, and we are unable to imagine ourselves as people who could take a morally disastrous next step. We are neither wise enough nor good enough to live without clear limits.”

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John Cardinal O'Connor

A little-known anniversary passed very silently on the tenth of this month, the twentieth anniversary of AIDS activist group ACT-UP’s desecration of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The New York Times reported the incident. It was the culmination of many smaller-scale desecrations at the Cathedral by gay groups, including Dignity. From 1987-88 I was a seminarian for the Archdiocese of New York, and was present at the Cathedral for Sunday Masses with the Cardinal when Dignity would seat themselves in rows midway down the aisle, then stand with their backs turned to the Cardinal as he gave the homily. They hated him as no other because he was pro-life, because he was a faithful son of the Church and would not give his blessing to the use of condoms for any purpose.

Cardinal O’Connor’s famous rejoinder was, “Good morality is good medicine.” For that singular statement he was regarded as little more than a caveman in Cardinal’s robes. From the Times article:

“Protesters said yesterday’s action was prompted by what they said was Cardinal O’Connor’s growing verbal assault on abortion and on the use of ‘safe sex’ with condoms as a precaution against AIDS.

“In October, the Cardinal expressed his admiration for Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that frequently blocks entrances to abortion clinics. In a speech at the Vatican in November, he re-stated his view that distributing condoms or clean needles was an inappropriate way to combat the spread of the AIDS virus. In a phrase frequently condemned by demonstrators yesterday, he said, ‘Good morality is good medicine.'”

What the Times did not report was that one protester crumbled the Eucharist at Communion time in an act of desecration never before seen in the cathedral. Protesters also threw condoms all over the cathedral. They were right about one thing, people were dying from this disease. AIDS patients were still considered lepers in many quarters. It was a frightening time.

Earlier that autumn 1989, Fr. Bruce Ritter asked me if I would return to Covenant House, a shelter for homeless teens in Times Square, where I had worked for five years prior to entering the seminary. He explained that he had started a Special Needs Unit for adolescents with HIV/AIDS. Some were already dying in end-stage AIDS. I accepted the offer.

Our unit at the time was the ONLY residential facility in the nation for adolescents with HIV/AIDS. Most of the kids were male prostitutes who contracted the virus from their clients. The disease progressed rapidly in some. We buried one young man not long after I began work on the unit. So, I was not without sympathy for the issue felt so keenly by Dignity and ACT-UP.

I contemplated this during the long night shifts when the kids finally went to sleep. What was the objection, really? Why such venomous hatred directed at the Church? Everyone knew that condoms broke during vaginal sex, more-so during anal sex. This wasn’t a state secret. Having just begun my post-baccalaureate curriculum in science at Columbia University, I found the hatred for the Church on campus palpable. Why?

The answer was: Narcissism. Even in the face of a killer sexually transmitted disease, people wanted their sex. Period. The drive toward self-indulgence was so powerful that it blinded people to the reality that condoms had a pretty significant failure rate, for a variety of reasons: improper and inconsistent use, tearing, slipping.

Then there was the issue of promiscuity in the gay community, the orgies in the bath houses that were eventually closed down as a public health measure. People weren’t interested in changing their behavior. They wanted fornication without consequences and expected, demanded the Church play along. In hindsight, they were looking for political cover.

For those old enough to remember the early years of the AIDS pandemic, it was largely considered a ‘gay’ disease. When it started showing up in the heterosexual community, many gays feared (rightly) a backlash based on that perception of AIDS being a gay disease. What better cover than the Catholic Church? The Bishops weren’t falling for it. They knew better about condoms, and sought to teach the faithful.

In the interim, Cardinal O’Connor quietly set about increasing the number of hospital beds in Catholic hospitals of the Archdiocese dedicated to AIDS patients to well above fifteen percent. He effectively turned Saint Clare’s Hospital on W 52nd Street into an AIDS hospice. Unbeknown to his detractors, the Cardinal went to St. Clare’s once a week in simple clerical garb to wash patients, empty bedpans, and perform priestly pastoral ministry to the dying. On his orders, he was introduced simply as Father John.

Next Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the wisdom and strength behind that humility. We’ll consider the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control data that clearly vindicate Cardinal O’Connor, and lay much blame for this ongoing tragedy at the feet of his most bitter detractors. We’ll see the epidemiological data that expose the great lie about condoms and where we have gone these past twenty years. It isn’t pretty.

Part II here.
Part III here.
Part IV here.

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Rosemary Cappozalo is a saint. Literally. She is also one of the unsung heroes of the Culture of Life and Civilization of Love. Affectionately known as Mrs. Rosemary, she ran her dance studio on Staten Island for fifty years, dying from Cancer this past June during her studio’s Fiftieth Annual Recital. Mrs. Rosemary is an icon in these parts, her studio an oasis for parents who want their sons and daughters to study dance without compromising their innocence or dignity. Her three daughters and staff of teachers, all trained by the Master herself, carry on this marvelous tradition of combining the best of traditional dance with modern sounds and rhythms, and all the while celebrating the joyous purity of youth.

Mrs. Rosemary

To quote her website, “The studio’s primary focus is to offer the joy of dancing to all the students regardless of age or ability ~ to build self-esteem, grace and motivate the students every step of the way.”

Accent on grace.

I first attended a Mrs. Rosemary recital back in 1992, and never realized how much she protected her “darlings,” as she called them, until I began attending my nieces recitals at other studios with their trashy costumes and hyper-sexual choreography. Our three darlings, shown above in costume from last year’s recital, have grown in grace and self-esteem with Mrs. Rosemary’s daughters and staff over the past four years.

Juxtapose that with Planned Parenthood’s deceptive description of sex as “sex play” in a page aimed at teens contemplating “The Truth About Virginity Pledges”.

“Should You Pledge?
Virginity is a personal choice, and there’s nothing wrong with waiting to have vaginal intercourse — or to abstain from sex play completely — until you’re married. But if you’re thinking about pledging, here are some questions you may want to consider:
What are you pledging? Many teens agree that some level of physical involvement is important in an intimate relationship. So find out what the limitations are before you pledge. Is all sex play prohibited? Or only vaginal intercourse?”

Note the evil deception in sex being referred to as mere “play”; losing virginity, a mere “choice”.

Not mentioned are the terrible burdens carried by teens who become sexually active, especially the girls.

The burden of worrying about STD’s as well as 1/4 of all girls actually contracting an STD prior to age 19.

The burden of sequelae from STD’s such as cervical cancer, lifetime herpes infection, PID, ectopic pregnancy, and sterility.

The burden of unplanned pregnancy and abortion.

The burden of the tension between their innate desire for emotional connection and oneness on the one hand, and the ‘need’ to satisfy adolescent boys who only want the fulfillment of the unrealistic sex they’ve seen in porn movies.

The burden of pleasing a boy, of needing to look hot instead of soft and feminine.

The tension between wanting to be a child (complete with pink bedroom and stuffed animals) and the “need” to be sexually sophisticated.

The burden of rejection when the sex gets old and new prospects materialize.

The tragedy of learning to separate the natural experience of bonding effected by sex, from the sex itself, as a means of ego-protection.

Where do they learn to bear themselves with grace and self-esteem in all of that?

And we wonder why body dysmorphic syndrome and depression are epidemic. After all, its only ‘sex play’.

We need more adults like Mrs. Rosemary, her daughters and teachers, to call forth the awesome power of true femininity and masculinity in our daughters and sons, to show them how to celebrate their emerging womanhood and manhood with grace and dignity, with purity and nobility, to lead as they do:

By Example.

To those who say it can’t be done, Mrs. Rosemary’s legacy continues to prove otherwise.

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