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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Bad News About Chemical Birth Control

From the Population Research Institute Blog:
According to the most recent report of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, published in 2009, close to 50% of all newly acquired Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 infections across the globe now occur in women of reproductive age. Only a decade before, in 1998, only roughly 36% of reported cases concerned women of all ages. Why this vast increase? Why, when treatment for HIV has become more accessible and the overall death toll has slowly been decreasing, are more and more women being infected? And why is the increase concentrated in women in their childbearing years?

Heterosexual intercourse is the point of transmission for the majority of these newly infected women. No surprise here. But sex is not just sex these days. Heavily funded population control programs have promoted, and even imposed, powerful, steroid-based contraceptive drugs on tens of millions of Third World women. What they trumpet as “greater global access to family planning methods” has in fact given the HIV virus greater access to women's bodies by altering women's local and systemic immunities, cervico-vaginal responses and protective vaginal flora—all in directions that make infection more likely.

Statistics gathered over the past 20 years reveal a parallel between an increase in contraceptive drug use and an increase in HIV-1 infections in women. Several epidemiological studies over the same period also seem to demonstrate a link. These studies were conducted with various cohorts of women from married mothers to single adolescents to “sex workers”, and were carried out, for the most part, among the populations of users of African family planning clinics. A link between the use of contraceptive drugs and HIV-1 disease acquisition and progression seemed evident, although most of the studies—for whatever reason—failed to draw any consistent or strong conclusions about this link. And none suggested that family planning programs ought to be modified or scaled back as a result. Read more here...


Anonymous said...

I would have assumed the above statistic is not necessarily caused by biological changes making a woman more susceptible to these infections but rather to the fact that having 'taken care' of preventing pregnancy, they go ahead with having unprotected sex and therefore open themselves up to infection. Always amazes me how so many women are more focused on getting pregnant than on contracting a potentially fatal infection.

Anonymous said...

The increase is mainly in Sub-Saharan African nations, where heterosexual women are often denied access to any health care or medications, including birth control pills.

Despite recent positive trends among young people (especially females) in some African countries, overall about twice as many young women as men are infected in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2001, an estimated 6–11% of young women aged 15–24 were living with HIV/AIDS, compared to 3–6% of young men. This appears to be due to a combination of factors. Women and girls are commonly discriminated against in terms of access to education, employment, credit, health care, land and inheritance. With the downward trend of many African economies increasing the ranks of people in poverty, relationships with men (casual or formalized through marriage) can serve as vital opportunities for financial and social security, or for satisfying material aspirations. Generally, older men are more likely to be able to offer such security. But, in areas where HIV/AIDS is widespread, they are also more likely to have become infected with HIV.

The combination of dependence and subordination can make it very difficult for girls and women to demand safer sex (even from their husbands) or to end relationships that carry the threat of infection. Studies have shown that young women tend to marry men several years older than themselves, and that their risk of infection increases if a husband is three or more years older than they are. Meanwhile, ignorance about sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS is widespread. In countries with generalized epidemics in Africa, up to 80% of women aged 15–24 have been shown to lack sufficient knowledge about HIV/AIDS. This, combined with the fact that young women and girls are more biologically prone to infection (the cervix being susceptible to lesions), helps explain the large differences in HIV prevalence between girls and boys aged 15–19.


To blame the increase on "biological changes" seems a stretch when looking at the full data for new AIDS/HIV cases on a global level.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

In view of the U.N.'s bias in favor of pushing abortion and birth control drugs on the third world and manipulating language in documents to support it, I find them a suspect reference. Population control sources at the U.N., Planned Parenthood, and within the U.S. Agency for International Development actively push contraception in the third world. Women there are more likely to have access to birth control drugs and abortion than drugs to treat malaria and diarrhea, major killers of third world populations.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:37 PM on August 3, sure makes it seem that some of the men in some African countries have a lack of self-control for the most part. What the person does not realize is that in those African countries where traditional morality is encouraged, there is far less HIV and other STDs, and broken homes. The encouragement of moral behavior does make a difference.