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AFRO-NETS> Condom breakage & failure (4)



Condom breakage & failure (4)
-----------------------------

Dear Mary,

How touching your piece is to me. Your comment is sharp and to the 
point. I cannot attempt to disagree with you but to reinforce what 
you just wrote. I came from Uganda where - I presume most of you 
could be aware about the extent of the scourge, the successes of the 
national strategy championed by the political echelon of the country 
- mainly by the president - Yoweri Museveni, speak for themselves.

Uganda is a very conservative society. Sex talk is a taboo. Toilet 
issues are secret, except weeing or peeing which men do against trees 
as if trees have problems with them. Seriously, I never saw my mamma 
go to the toilet or even heard her break wind! 90% of the population 
are Christians, and nearly half of these are Catholics!

We were made to understand that, the Vatican does not allow the use 
of condoms! To take on the problem head on, the president appointed 
the head of the Catholic Church - the Cardinal, as the chairman of 
the AIDS commission. The cardinal eventually bent the rule of con-
doms! He advised his flock to first and foremost abstain from sex 
(unmarried ones) or stick to monogamous and chaste lives (married 
couples). The other group - the morally handicapped group may nay 
rather, can use condoms! Sometimes seeing things beyond ourselves and 
beyond the veils of our own ignorance, makes us champions - not the 
Cardinal of course because he is the man of God and source of knowl-
edge -if you know what I am saying!

Of course the president had also taken upon himself and his office to 
educate the population about AIDS and our Ugandan way of life. The 
president's wife challenged the mothers and women to talk about sex! 
Every body was singing in the country some song by some fella - "Let 
us talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me! Let's talk 
about sex, hhhmmmmmm!".

There had been a motto we coined as cool young urban professionals - 
Australians call them yuppies! I can't remember when or where this 
motto originated from, but it stated: Bible can save ya soul, but the 
condom can save yo skin! Better be alive and a sinner than dead and a 
sinner, for thou shalt have a chance to repent before thou goest to 
hell! Otherwise, when you are dead, you are dead dead!

Please be advised that the damned condom did the bulk of the job in 
the reduction of the HIV seropositivity incidence from 30% among 
pregnant women in a certain hospital in Kampala and about 45% among 
STD patients that visited Mulago Hospital in the city to just about 
5% (according to the recent medical reports from the Minister of 
Health)! This is evidenced by the number of condoms used annually! 
For authentic stats or data depending on which field you are from, 
check out The Uganda AIDS Commission web site:
http://www.aidsuganda.org/

Of course attitudes had changed (abstinence and faithfulness) and 
contributed to this, but unfortunately Ugandans love to have sex and 
more sex. Many do not abstain and many others cannot afford to be 
faithful or even stick to monogamous marriages! The condoman comes 
in.

When it comes to the nucleus family - I mean the case of daughters 
and sons, there is no solution but abstinence. Shout wait, wait, do 
not have sex, or else I will bury you! Reality however is that, we 
(sons and daughters of our parents) did it in Uganda while talking 
about HIV infection in bed or bush. A friend once confessed and said, 
"Shush, I forgot to use the rubber! I was caught of guard!" Crazy, 
huh? Another one - a very close one said, "I did not have the war-
head [condom], so I checked in the back seat and found a "kaveera' [a 
plastic bag for shopping]. You cannot believe it! I wrapped it round 
me member and got the job done!" Hell, both are still alive and have 
not changed their behaviour a single bit. They both use condoms. 
These rubbers are not 'foolproof' though - remember?

I love you all.

Michael E. Otim
mailto:m.otim@unimelb.edu.au

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