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- Couples should use condoms when having sex unless both sex partners are certain that they are not infected with sexually transmissible diseases. A new condom should be used each time a couple has vaginal or anal intercourse. The condom should be rolled onto the erect male penis and down to its base before the penis contacts the partner's genital or anal area. After intercourse, the male should carefully withdraw his penis before it becomes soft, and while holding the base of the condom onto the penis to avoid semen spillage. The used condom should then be discarded. The closed end of the female condom is inserted into the vagina using either one's fingers or an erect penis. The condom may be inserted with one's fingers at any time from several hours before having sex to immediately before sexual intercourse. The female condom may also be inserted into the anus for use during anal sex. The condom should be removed immediately after sexual intercourse by gently twisting the outer ring and pulling the condom out, making sure to spill no semen. Some condoms are pre-lubricated. However, if lubrication is needed, be sure to use only spermicides or water-based lubricants, since oil-based lubricants will damage latex condoms.
- “Condoms”, AIDS Action. Mar-Aug 1997;(36-37):16-7.
- Veteran Vatican analyst John Allen said what was at issue was not abstract moral teaching, but rather concrete pastoral application to a specific set of facts.
"If someone were to ask a Catholic priest, 'Is it okay to use a condom?' the answer is still supposed to be 'No'," said Mr Allen, a senior corre-spondent for the US-based National Catholic Reporter.
"Catholic teaching holds that to be fully consistent with God's plan, sexuality should occur only inside marriage and should be open to new life.
"If the question, however, is, 'I'm HIV positive and will have sex regardless of what the Church thinks, so is it better to use a condom to try to save lives?' the Pope has implied that a pastor might legitimately say 'Yes,' while still stressing that condoms ultimately are not, as Benedict says in his interview, a 'real or moral solution.'"
- John Allen in BBC News: "Vatican: Pope did not back condom contraception use", BBC, (December 20, 2010)
- We found that participants reporting lifetime exposure to abuse did not differ from never-abused women in rates of self-reported condom use at baseline. However, women with abuse histories did re-port lower conviction that they would use condoms when depressed, sexually excited, under the influ-ence of alcohol or drugs, or when their partner seemed annoyed about using condoms. This confirms recent findings by Swan and O’Connell that incarcerated women with a history of intimate partner vio-lence reported decreased confidence in their abilities to negotiate condom use.
- Jenifer E. Allsworth, PhD, Gina M. Secura, PhD, MPH, Qiuhong Zhao, MS, Tessa Madden, MD, MPH, and Jeffrey F. Peipert, MD, PhD; “The Impact of Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Abuse on Contraceptive Method Selection and Discontinuation”, Am J Public Health. 2013 October; 103(10): 1857–1864.
- Benedict said condoms were not “a real or moral solution” to the AIDS epi-demic, adding, “that can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.” But he also said that “there may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.”
- [[Pope Benedict XVI], ”Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times”, as quoted in Rachel Donadio and Laurie Goodstein; “In Rare Cases, Pope Justifies Use of Condoms”, New York Times, (Nov. 20, 2010)
- Catholic bishops in Kenya produced this pamphlet which claims: "Latex rubber from which condoms are made does have pores through which viral sized particles can squeeze through during intercourse." We read this to the World Health Organisation who told us it is: "simply not true".
- Steve Bradshaw, "SEX and the HOLY CITY", BBC News. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- The most authoritative recent report is by the [[w:US National Institute of Health| US National Institute of Health which concluded: "Intact condoms are essentially impermeable to the smallest sexually transmitted virus, and that the consistent use of male condoms protects against HIV/AIDS transmission." The World Health Organisation insists it is imperative to continue promoting condoms for HIV prevention.
- Steve Bradshaw, "SEX and the HOLY CITY", BBC News. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- We've come across what the WHO calls "The dangerous allegation that condoms let HIV through before." The Archbishop of Nairobi had put his name to a pamphlet making the claim, and we'd heard the story from Catholics in two other continents, from the Head of the Pro Life Clinics in Manila City.
- Steve Bradshaw, "SEX and the HOLY CITY", BBC News. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- Pope Benedict XVI has said that condom use can be justified in some cases to help stop the spread of AIDS, the Vatican’s first exception to a long-held policy banning contraceptives. The pope made the statement in interviews on a host of contentious issues with a German journalist, part of an unusual effort to address some of the harshest criticisms of his turbulent papacy.
The pope’s statement on condoms was extremely limited: he did not approve their use or suggest that the Roman Catholic Church was beginning to back away from its prohibition of birth control. In fact, the one example he cited as a possibly appropriate use was by male prostitutes.
Still, the statement was something of a milestone for the church and a significant change for Benedict, who faced intense criticism last year when, en route to AIDS-plagued Africa, he said condom use did not help prevent the spread of AIDS, only abstinence and fidelity did.
- Rachel Donadio and Laurie Goodstein; “In Rare Cases, Pope Justifies Use of Condoms”, New York Times, (Nov. 20, 2010)
- Condoms are often found discarded on beaches along with straws, bottles and other trash. About 900 condoms were found on Florida's beaches during a three-hour litter collection campaign in 1996. That's five condoms per minute. After conducting a 10-year study, Tidy Britain Group concluded that more than a third of the trash on west coast beaches arrives from North America. But Brits have little to boast about when it comes to prophylactic pollution. The British Environment Agency estimates Brits discard 61 to 100 million condoms per year, many of which end up in rivers, the sea and on beaches.
This litter not only detracts from shore beauty, it can cover coral reefs and smother sea grasses and other bottom dwellers, according to The Ocean Conservancy. Many animals confuse trash for food and try to eat it. Plastic and other materials can clog animals' intestines, causing them to starve, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Hightower, Eve; Hall, Phoebe (March–April 2003). "Clean sex, wasteful computers and dangerous mascara – Ask E". E–The Environmental Magazine. Archived from the original on 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- Not only were females who were having sex without condoms less depressed, but depressive symptoms and suicide attempts among females who used condoms were proportional to the consistency of condom use. For females who did not use condoms, depression scores went up as the amount of time since their last sexual encounter increased.
- Gallup GG Jr1, Burch RL, Platek SM. "Does semen have antidepressant properties?", Arch Sex Behav. 2002 Jun;31(3):289-93.
- Condoms are a form of barrier contraception that also prevents the spread of certain STDs. Most condoms are latex consisting of a reservoir tip and base ring that is connected by a thin latex tube. There are a top side and a downside to each condom. When the condom bag is opened, the side where the reservoir tip is pointing up, unimpeded, is the top. To apply, the tip of the reservoir is pinched between two fingers, while the ring is then rolled over the erect penis. To remove grasp the base ring and pull the condom off before erection is lost. Wrap the used condom in a tissue, or tie it off, and dispose of the used condom. Female condoms consist of two rings, one with a closed-end, connected by a tube of latex to the opposite open, larger ring. The index finger is placed in the closed end, which is inserted into the vagina pushing the closed end in as far as possible. This discussion will solely focus on male con-doms. The idea of placing material over the penis for barrier contraception has existed since the 15th century in Asia, where oiled silk paper or lamb intestine coverings were secured over the penis glans. In the 16th century in Italy, soaked linen tied onto the glans with ribbon was recorded as being used to prevent syphilis. The first use of the word “condom” was recorded in the 17th century when the English birth rate commission attributed a decrease in the English birth rate to these “condoms.” Rubber condoms were invented in the 19th century with latex condoms following shortly after in the early 20th century. Latex has since been the material of choice for condom manufacturers due to its thin mobility, ease of production, and non-porous nature making it an ideal barrier for semen introduction and STD prevention.
- William Gossman, Ari D. Shaeffer, Daniel M. McNabb, “Condoms” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan. 2020 Jan 30.
- The origin of the term 'condom' remains an enigma. Plausible hypotheses are that it is derived from either (i) the Latin 'condĕre' (to sheathe) or the corresponding noun 'condus' (receptacle); or (ii) the Venetian variant 'gondon' of the Italian word 'guantone' (glove). The earliest identified mention of a similar barrier method is in the legend of Minos and Pasiphae written (in the 2nd century AD) by Antoninus Liberalis. A penile sheath, made from animal gallbladder, was advocated in the 10th century by the Persian physician Al-Akhawayni. The earliest surviving condoms made of animal membranes date back to between 1642 and 1646. Such 'skin' condoms became increasingly popular for prevention of venereal disease, but as early as the 18th century their value as contraceptives was appreciated. Rubber condoms were available from 1855; since 1930, they are made of latex. We mention, in parallel, the most striking changes over time in sexual mores and behaviours, and illustrate these by referring to colourful figures such as, among others, Boswell, Mrs Philips, Casanova, Marguerite Gourdan, and Richard Carlile.
- Jean-Jacques Amy, Michel Thiery, “The condom: A turbulent history”, Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care . 2015;20(5):387-402.
- In 2006, the Pontifical Council for the Health Care Pastoral, led by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, was asked by Benedict to report on the use of condoms as a way of combating HIV.
"The pope is saying that if you can prevent disease, the use of condoms could be permissible," said John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. "But this has been in the mix for a while," he argued. "I think Benedict has been thinking this way since 2006, which is why he asked for the commission to look into it.
"The problem was not Benedict, it was others in the Vatican who argued that if you said using condoms was OK in certain situations, it would send out the message that they were approved. This was a PR problem."
- Tom Kington and Ben Quinn, “Pope Benedict says that condoms can be used to stop the spread of HIV”, The Guardian, (20 Nov 2010)
- Of contraceptive options available to women today, male condom use is the only method that provides both contraceptive efficacy and protection from STDS and HIV. The female condom may also serve both purposes, but adequate data are not yet available. Additional contraceptive options are needed that are female-controlled, that have high contraceptive efficacy, and that, at the very least, do not increase the risk of acquiring HIV or other STDs. Ideally, new female-controlled contraceptives should provide the dual protection from pregnancy and infection offered by the male condom.
- Harold L. Martin, Jr., Patrick M. Nyange, Barbra A. Richardson, Ludo Lavreys, Kishorchandra Mandaliya, Denis J. Jackson, O. Ndinya-Achola, and Joan Kreiss; [“Hormonal Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Risk of Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type”], p.1058
- There is little if any evidence for usage of a condom or sheath during antiquity to prevent conception. The earliest published description appears in Gabriel Fallopio’s De morbo gallico (Padua, 1563), chapter 89. It was named for a Dr. Condom, physician at the court of Charles II (ruled 1660-1685), and supposedly used extensively by Casanova (1725-1788), who calls it an “English riding coat.” The condom as a birth control device emerged in wide usage only after the vulcanization of rubber in 1844.
- John M. Riddle, “Eve's Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West”, Harvard University Press, 1997, p.5
- Last year about 60 Catholic groups wrote an open letter to Benedict urging him to reverse the Vatican\'s opposition to contraception.
The ban on condoms "exposes millions of people to the risk of contracting the AIDS virus," they said.
- "Condoms \'not the answer to AIDS\': Pope". SBS News, (23/08/2013)
- Even though many men complain that condoms reduce their levels of sensation and sexual pleasure during sexual intercourse, latex rubber condoms when used correctly do in most cases block the trans-mission of sperm and infectious agents between sex partners. Condoms were used as disease prevention devices as early as the 16th century, with animal tissue condoms advertised in Europe by the 18th century for both disease prevention and contraception. Early condoms were tied on with ribbons and reusable. Rubber condoms were developed in 1843. When the use of these latter devices against sexually transmitted disease was first mentioned in the Australian medical press in 1870, however, critics cried that condoms would only encourage immorality. Thinner latex rubber condoms were developed in the 1930s. Condoms and other contraceptives became widely available in Australia by the late 19th century. The author discusses the history of the condom and some other methods of safe sex in sections on the condom, contraceptives, morals, population concerns, restriction of condom availability and promotion, chemical disease preventives, the history of chemical prophylaxis, prophylaxis for soldiers and civilians, the prophylaxis debate, prophylaxis in Australia, and safer sex now.
- D Tibbits, “Safer sex now and then”, Med J Aust. 1994 Jul 4;161(1):83-4, 86-7.
- The Catholic bishops of South Africa, Botswana, and Swaziland categorically regard the widespread and indiscriminate promotion of condoms as an immoral and misguided weapon in our battle against HIV/AIDS for the following reasons. The use of condoms goes against human dignity. Con-doms change the beautiful act of love into a selfish search for pleasure-while rejecting responsibility. Condoms do not guarantee protection against HIV/AIDS. Condoms may even be one of the main rea-sons for the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- Family Values Versus Safe Sex, Vatican, (2003);as qtd. in Alsan, Marcella (April 2006). "The Church & AIDS in Africa: Condoms & the Culture of Life". ‘’Commonweal: A Review of Religion, Politics, and Culture’’. 133 (8). Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-11-28.
Fahd Khan, Saheel Mukhtar, Ian K. Dickinson, and Seshadri Sriprasad; “The story of the condom”, Indian J Urol. 2013 Jan-Mar; 29(1): 12–15
- Condoms have been a subject of curiosity throughout history. The idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient and modern history, and has been used to prevent venereal diseases. We conducted a historical and medical review of condoms using primary and secondary sources as well as using the RSM library and the internet. These resources show that the first use of a condom was that of King Minos of Crete. Pasiphae, his wife, employed a goat's bladder in the vagina so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain “scorpions and serpents” that killed his mistresses. To Egyptians, condom-like glans caps were dyed in different colours to distinguish between different classes of people and to protect themselves against bilharzia. The Ancient Romans used the bladders of animals to protect the woman; they were worn not to prevent pregnancy but to prevent contraction of venereal diseases. Charles Goodyear, the inventor, utilized vulcanization, the process of transforming rubber into malleable structures, to produce latex condoms. The greater use of condoms all over the world in the 20th and 21st centuries has been related to HIV. This account of the use of condoms demonstrates how a primitive idea turned into an object that is used globally with a forecast estimated at 18 billion condoms to be used in 2015 alone.
- From Ancient Greeks to wartime procedures, condoms have been deployed in pursuit of contraceptive measures as well as presentation of an individual in public hierarchy. Exploring the humble and primitive beginnings of this object and its evolution with time allows us to observe and appreciate the medical knowledge of the civilizations that have preceded the modern world today.
- The first known documentation of the “condom” was that of King Minos of Crete in about 3000 B.C. King Minos, who ruled Knossos, was a figure of history from the Bronze Age. He was referenced in various manuscripts including the famous Illiad by Homer. Minos, the father of the Minotaur, was said to have “serpents and scorpions” in his semen. His mistresses died after having intercourse with him. In order to protect himself and his partners, which included his wife Pasiphae, the bladder of a goat was introduced into the woman's vagina which protected the woman from disease. Prokris, King Minos' subject, understood the sadness for Minos not being able to produce an heir; upon introduction of the sheath, significant results were shown. It is said that Pasiphae had given birth to eight children after the use of the goat's bladder. It is a subject of controversy that the bladder was inserted into the woman. Another argument brought about is that the goat's bladder was worn by Minos himself and not Pasiphae.
- The Ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to use sheaths. Egyptians were known to have a very ritualistic culture which used symbols and calligraphy to denote objective and subjective communication. For protection during intercourse, evidence from about 1000 C.E. states that linen sheaths were used, specifically to prevent tropical diseases like bilharzia. Furthermore, Egyptian men wore colored sheaths to distinguish social status within their complex hierarchy.
- The Ancient Roman civilization influenced the modern world in many ways, including architecture, government, philosophy, language, and even condoms. Romans were very keen on the development of public health, since diseases were prevalent as the empire spread throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond. Health was attributed by the people to the goddess Hygieia, who was the daughter of the god of medicine, Asclepius. The Romans did not acknowledge the contraceptive perspective of the use of bladders of animals, but they took keen interest in its effects in public health and prevention of venereal diseases such as syphilis. Little did they know that employment of the sheaths made of bladder would also be contraception; this can be seen as some-thing that stands out or is even contradictory of the Romans due to their evident appearance as a very wise and learned empire. The condoms used in Ancient Rome were made of linen and animal (sheep and goat) intestine or bladder. It is possible that they used muscle tissue from dead combatants but no hard evidence for this exists.
- The archaic Djukas tribe that inhabited New Guinea developed its own idea of the condom. They designed a distinct type of female condom that contrasts deeply with other examples in history whether it may be the Egyptians, Romans, or Greeks. A female sheath made from a specific plant was introduced into the vagina prior to intercourse to prevent conception. The sheath was de-scribed as six inches long, chalice shaped so that one end was open and the other closed. The pressure exerted by the vagina helped to keep the sheath in a fixed position.
- [T]he Chinese civilization, with their expertise in silk, fashioned sheaths from silk paper that were applied with an oil lubrication. Sheaths became more prevalent as disease and plague spread through the East from Central Europe. The Japanese civilization utilized the Kabuta-Gata, which was a shell that was used to cover the glans. It was made of tortoise shell but occasionally with leather. The Kabuta-Gata could also be used as a supplement to those who suffered from erectile dysfunction.
- Gabriele Falloppio, the prominent Italian anatomist accredited with describing the Fallopian tube, made contributions to the condom. In the book De Morbo Gallico, literally “The French Disease,” he describes a sheath of linen used for protection against syphilis. The sheath which covered the glans was fastened with a ribbon; it was also lubricated with saliva. His experiments on 1100 men showed that the sheath protected all from contracting the disease. The sheaths from this time period were also made of lamb and goat intestines. They were crafted by butchers, who understood the high tensile strength associated with the respective intestines. During the 17th century, the use of condoms as a contraceptive was well documented. The fertility rate in England has significantly reduced due to employment of sheaths made of intestines and bladder. The Jesuit, Leonardus Lessius stated that the use of sheaths was a sin, and was unethical. The Jesuits were known to be members of the Counter Reformation which was set out to re-establish the Church's influence on personal, cultural, and scientific matters in Christian Europe.
- Evidence discovered in Dudley Castle, near Birmingham, England, suggests the use of sheaths made of fish and animal intestine dating to about 1640. During the English Civil War, the forces of King Charles I contracted syphilis from the periodic use of prostitutes. Condoms of fish, cattle, and sheep intestine were deployed to the army to reduce transmission of syphillis, since the disease was a common cause of soldier fatality at the time. King Charles II became troubled by the number of illegitimate children belonging or associated with him. To stop these illegitimate conceptions, his doctor prescribed a sheath made of lamb intestine. The doctor, known as Colonel Condom, prescribed this with prior knowledge that sheaths were used to prevent venereal disease transmission. The etymology of the word condom is said to have been named after this doctor. Other theories include the Latin word “condus,” which means receptacle or vessel, and the Persian word “kemdu,” which refers to a long piece of intestine used for storage. The theory of the origin of the condom being from England and France is in dispute between both countries. The French associate it with the English, referring to the device as Redingote Anglaise or English raincoat, whereas the English refer to it as the “French Letter.” The word “Condom,” first took appearance in the diary of a physician, Daniel Turner, and it later became official when the word could be found in a dictionary de-tailing vernacular language in the city of London in 1785.
- The veneration of the word “Condom” was responsible for its subsequent popularity starting from the 18th century. Brothels sold them to customers before they had relations with their prostitutes. Giacomo Casanova, an Italian traveler from a prominent Venetian family, has his own story of his experience with the condom, which can be found in his memoir, “Histoire de ma vie.” In his younger years, Casanova was not too open to using the condom, which he referred to as a “dead animal skin.” Condoms in the 18th century commonly underwent the administration of sulfur or lye to help smoothen the sheath of intestine. Casanova, at a later point in his life, started using condoms after he understood their ability of protection from disease. He used to inflate them prior to use in order to test for any leaks; this was seen as an original example of monitoring whether the condom was fit for use. Condoms started to be sold wholesale in the late 18th century, and businesses such as those of a certain Mrs. Phillips became prominent in London, where she opened a warehouse in the Strand. By the 19th century, linen condoms were out of touch, due to them being less comfortable than the animal sheaths, and their development stopped. Condoms prior to the 19th century were used by the more affluent population because the lower classes were not well acquainted with the knowledge of venereal diseases, and condoms themselves could be seen as quite expense for low incoming personnel and harlots.
- In the 1920s, latex was invented. Latex is formed when rubber is dispersed in water. Latex was the revelation that transformed condoms into what they are today. They now have a very high tensile strength and can now be stretched up to eight times before they fail. In more modern conditions, rubber latex condoms can be produced at a swift rate of 3000 per hour and can be lubricated with spermicide and even flavored. America and European nations became open to contraception after World War II, in the late 1940s. The discovery of AIDS as a sexually transmitted disease in the 1980s brought about the popularity of condoms as a contraceptive and as a use of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. They now developing countries. The modern world gained an improved under-standing of venereal diseases as it was incorporated in health education in schools, in social magazines, and government programs promoting safe sex.
The transformation of the condom, from a piece of bladder to a small, simple latex kind with high flexibility, is one that can be looked at from a medical, scientific, and social view point. The medical knowledge of time periods before ours can be looked at from the analysis of their methods of contraception and venereal disease prevention. An essential conclusion that can be drawn from this medical history is that civilization has always had a way to deal with its problems in birth control and sexually transmitted diseases, as it has affected people of all race, color, creed, and religion. This progressive device has gained such popularity that a forecast of 18 billion condoms is predicted to be used in the year 2015 alone.
Alsan, Marcella (April 2006). "The Church & AIDS in Africa: Condoms & the Culture of Life". ‘’Commonweal: A Review of Religion, Politics, and Culture’’. 133 (8). Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-11-28.
- In the midst of the AIDS epidemic, which has already killed tens of millions and preys disproportionately on the poor, the condom acts as a contra mortem and its use is justified by the Catholic consistent ethic of life.
At least, this is the view of many Catholics at the front lines of the global HIV battle. Catholic organizations mercifully provide around 25 percent of the care AIDS victims receive worldwide. Many of the clergy and laity involved in treating people with AIDS, who otherwise fully ascribe to the church’s teachings on sexual ethics and the sanctity of marriage, nevertheless endorse the use of condoms. They argue that the preservation of human life is paramount. Fr. Valeriano Paitoni, working in São Paulo, Brazil, summarized this perspective: “AIDS is a world epidemic, a public-health problem that must be confronted with scientific advances and methods that have proven effective,” he says. “Rejecting condom use is to oppose the fight for life.”
- Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa has also been imploring the Vatican to view condom use as curtailing the transmission of death rather than precluding the transmission of life. In South Africa, 5.3 million people are infected with HIV and 25 percent of all pregnant women test positive for the virus. Dowling prays that the Holy Spirit will intervene to change minds in Rome. He believes Pope Benedict XVI’s view on the use of condoms would change, “if his visits to poor countries were done in such a way that he could sit in a shack and see a young mother dying of AIDS with her baby.” Not long ago, Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels stated on Dutch television that although sex with a person infected with HIV is to be avoided, “if it should take place, the person must use a condom in order not to disobey the commandment condemning murder, in addition to breaking the commandment which forbids adultery.” He added: “Protecting oneself against sickness or death is an act of prevention. Morally, it cannot be judged on the same level as when a condom is used to reduce the number of births.”
- Although it is true that condoms are not 100-percent effective in preventing HIV infection, they do reduce the risk of transmission significantly. Comparing condom use to a suicidal dare, as Cardinal Trujillo does, is scientifically inaccurate and socially irresponsible. A preponderance of medical research demonstrates that condoms help prevent the spread of HIV. For example, the European Study Group on Heterosexual Transmission of HIV followed 124 discordant couples (in which only one of the pair is infected with HIV) who consistently used condoms. Over a two-year period and roughly fifteen thousand sexual acts, none of the HIV-negative partners contracted the virus. Thai investigators examining the impact of condom use among the military reported that new infections dropped from 12.5 percent in 1993 to 6.7 percent in 1995. The number of new HIV infections in Thailand plummeted after the introduction of a “100-percent condom use” program. Uganda earned its reputation as a paragon of HIV prevention for its now-famous ABC program: Abstain, Be faithful, and Consistent, Correct use of Condoms. Following the implementation of ABC, HIV infection in Uganda decreased from between 15 and 20 percent of the population in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2003. A comparative analysis of Ugandan population-based surveys in 1989 and 1995 concluded that delaying the age of first sexual encounters, decreasing the number of casual partners, and increasing condom use all contributed to Uganda’s success.
- Benedict XVI made his first comments as pope regarding condom use at a June 2005 papal audience. His listeners included bishops from South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Lesotho. After reviewing the importance of catechesis and recruiting African men to the priesthood, the pope turned his attention to AIDS: “It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking, and a contraception mentality.” He emphasized that contraception leads to a “breakdown in sexual morality.” In the speech, the pope made a diagnosis: condoms increase sexual immorality, and sexual immorality increases the spread of AIDS. The logical treatment for sexual immorality is Christian marriage, fidelity, and chastity. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Vatican’s Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, had reached a similar conclusion in his Message for World AIDS Day (December 1, 2003): “We have to present this [lifestyles emphasizing marriage, fidelity, and chastity] as the main way for the effective prevention of infection and spread of HIV/AIDS, since the phenomenon of AIDS is a pathology of the spirit.”
“A History of Birth Control Methods“, Planned Parenthood
- The earliest known illustration of a man using a condom during sexual intercourse is painted on the wall of a cave in France. It is 12,000–15,000 years old (Parisot, 1987). Another ancient illustration of a condom was found in Egypt, and it is more than 3,000 years old. It is difficult to judge from the drawing, however, what the ancient Egyptian wearing the condom had in mind. He may have worn it for sexual or ritual reasons ⎯or both (Parisot, 1985).
- The oldest condoms were found in the foundations of Dudley Castle in England. They were made of animal gut and dated back to 1640 (Parisot, 1985). They were probably used to reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections during the war between the forces of Olier Cromwell and soldiers loyal to King Charles I.
In the 18th century, the famous womanizer Casanova wore condoms made of linen (Grimes, 2000). Rubber condoms were mass-produced after 1843, when Charles Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber, which he invented five years before (Chesler, 1992; Valdiserri, 1988). Condoms made of sheep’s intestines are still available. They are now disposable and should only be used once.
The American Social Hygiene Association fought hard to prohibit condom use in the early part of this century. Social hygienists believed that anyone who risked getting “venereal” diseases should suffer the consequences, including American doughboys ⎯U.S. soldiers who fought in World War I. The American Expeditionary Forces, as our army was called, were denied the use of condoms, so it is not surprising that by the end of the war our troops had very high rates of sexually transmitted infections. Like most people throughout history, our “boys” were just unable to “just say ‘no’” (Brandt, 1985).
The Secretary of the Navy at that time was only one of many military leaders who believed that condom use and other infection prevention methods were immoral and “unchristian.” It was a young Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who, when his boss was away from the office, decided to help sailors treat infections that they could have otherwise prevented with condoms. FDR ordered the distribution of prophylactic kits that contained chemicals to wash and insert into the penis to treat gonorrhea and syphilis (Brandt, 1985).
One of the challenges that Margaret Sanger faced as she fought for women’s right to use birth control was the double standard regarding condom use. Doctors were allowed to “prescribe” condoms to protect men from syphilis and gonorrhea when they had premarital or extramarital sexual intercourse. The men could not, however, get condoms to protect their wives from unintended pregnancy (Brandt, 1985; Valdiserri, 1988).
- By 1924, the condom was the most commonly prescribed method of birth control (Tone, 2001), and by World War II, military leaders had a more realistic attitude about condoms. Concerned that "our boys" would bring home diseases and infect their wives, they aggressively promoted the use of condoms. Government training films urged soldiers "Don't forget ⎯put it on before you put it in."
- pp. 5-6
- The sexual revolution of the 60’s almost put an end to condom use. “Good girls” were willing sex partners, so fewer men turned to professional sex workers, the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections – gonorrhea and syphilis – were easily treated, and the pill and IUD provided the most effective reversible contraception the world had seen (Valdiserri, 1988).
When the virus that can cause AIDS was identified, it became clear that condom use and other methods of safer sex could stem the epidemic.