Commentary by John Jalsevac

July 30, 2008 ( – In its 2008 report, released on Tuesday, UNAIDS, the UN body responsible for preventing and treating HIV/AIDS globally, presents its multi-phase solution to the AIDS epidemic – the result of years of research, on-the-ground experience and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.

First phase: condoms. Lots and lots of condoms. Heaps of condoms. Bajillions of condoms. Condoms for every man, woman, and child.

Second phase: when the condoms fail UNAIDS is prepared with…drugs. Lots of drugs. Lots and lots of expensive drugs. And what miracle of modern science can these drugs accomplish? They can postpone the inevitable lingering death of the infected (for some additional 4-12 years anyway). 

A great accomplishment, this plan of theirs.

A search of the 362 page 2008 UNAIDS report shows 149 uses of the word “condom.” And each time condoms are mentioned, they are presented as being the weight-bearing pillar in any successful AIDS-prevention strategy. Education is also frequently mentioned as being very, very important. But education seems primarily to consist of teaching Africans how, when (always), and where (everywhere) to use a condom: although there is also the occasional mention that trying to reduce risky behaviour may be a good idea (“There are only limited data,” but having multiple concurrent sexual partners may be a “potential” reason for high infection rates. You think?).

On the other hand, a search of the word “abstinence” results in six hits. One of those references is in the bibliography. Two of the others are found in the chapter on AIDS-prevention; but they are there only to be ridiculed. Abstinence programs are bad because they discourage “forthright discussions about condoms and safer sex.” And anyway, “studies show” that “programmes that exclusively promote abstinence do not reduce the risk of HIV infection.”

The other three references to abstinence are all passing remarks about how in some backward cultures women don’t have jobs and aren’t therefore “empowered” to demand abstinence from their husbands. But as we aren’t told why abstinence is a good thing in the first place, the significance of this point is unclear.

Finally, in the entire 362 page document the word “fidelity” is mentioned once. Again, it’s only to point out how women don’t have independent economic means and therefore don’t have the leverage to demand fidelity from their husbands, lest their husbands should leave them if they do demand it.

Now, let’s just stop and think about that for a moment. I don’t care how extreme your agenda is. It seems pretty obvious that having sex with one person who is also your life’s companion (a pretty common event until recent decades) who isn’t infected, will ultimately lead to an infection rate of…0%. Zero percent, to spell things out, is very, very low. It’s a lot lower than, well, anything else. In fact, if the whole world had a 0% AIDS infection rate, there wouldn’t be any AIDS. But then UNAIDS officials would be out of a job, the AIDS drug companies would have no sales, the condom manufacturers would be selling vastly fewer condoms, and who would want that?

If I didn’t know better (which I’m not sure that I do) I’d think that everybody at the UN thinks that Africans are nothing but a bunch of wild beasts driven by blind instinct. This newest UNAIDS report in effect comes right out and says that in most cases if an African feels the urge to have sex, be it with a young, barely pubescent girl, or with multiple partners, or with someone known to be HIV positive, then an African will have sex. The most we can ever hope to do is to interrupt their foreplay long enough to get them to put a condom on.

What’s that? You think I exaggerate?

Consider this. In what can only be interpreted as a spit in the eye of Uganda, the UNAIDS report includes this line, breathtaking in its sheer, bitter effrontery: “In Uganda, the African country that has been most successful in lowering HIV prevalence, surveys have documented an increase in risky sexual behaviours in recent years.”

This proves, says the report, that people just can’t be expected to significantly change their risky sexual behaviours, as “they frequently fail to sustain safer behaviours for longer periods.” Uganda they smugly cite as a case in point: You can’t expect Africans to change. The dog returns to its vomit.

Uganda, if you recall, was one of the few African countries that massively reduced its HIV/AIDS infection rate from 21% in 1991, to 6% in 2002. Uganda was Africa’s success story. And it claimed this position entirely by pioneering the ABC program, which puts almost all the emphasis on A (Abstinence) and B (Be faithful), with C (Condom use) presented as a last resort. And it worked, for what I should think are very obvious reasons.

But, as the co-chair of Uganda’s AIDS-Prevention Committee, Sam Ruteikara, wrote recently in the Washington Post, it was at the height of his country’s AIDS-prevention success that Western “advisors” stepped in, told Uganda they “had it all wrong” and systematically hijacked the Committee’s documents.

“Repeatedly,” laments Ruteikara, “our 25-member prevention committee put faithfulness and abstinence into the National Strategic Plan…Repeatedly, foreign advisers erased our recommendations. When the document draft was published, fidelity and abstinence were missing.” The Western “experts,” “had the financial power to force their casual-sex agendas upon us.”

Now AIDS rates in Uganda are climbing once again. And UNAIDS has only itself to thank.

But these Western “experts” will not, of course, admit their error. They abide by the rule of the oligarch: “Heads I win, tails you lose.” Whatever way the coin drops, its bad for the other guy. Ruteikara relates: “Western media have been told this renewed surge of HIV infection is because there are ‘not enough condoms in Uganda,’ even though we have many more condoms now than we did in the early 1990s, when our HIV rates began to decline.”

In the end the UN’s AIDS-prevention strategy amounts to nothing more than a global game of Russian roulette. Throwing your arms up and telling people that they’ll never change their risky sexual lifestyles, and then going on to give them nothing but a razor-thin layer of porous latex as a barrier between life and a slow, lingering death, is in effect to hand them a loaded gun.

In this case the only difference between the UN and the mob is that the UN has provided a first-aid kit (heaps of expensive anti-retroviral drugs) to patch up the victims they helped to create, who find they have pulled the trigger on a loaded chamber.

Indeed, as Sam Ruteikara observes, a great deal of the AIDS-prevention and treatment “relief” effort has become little more than a profitable industry. If I had absolutely no morals whatsoever, I’d be kicking myself for not having invested in condoms and anti-retroviral drugs years ago. Groups like UNAIDS are buying up condoms in the hundreds of millions and, (sometimes quite literally) dumping them all over the African continent with open-handed liberality. And when those condoms fail, the drug companies step in with their product. (Now don’t get me wrong. Drugs are good. But when these drugs are treated as an answer, and not as an unfortunately necessary companion to rigorous AIDS-prevention strategies based upon abstinence and fidelity, then they become the enemy of the anti-AIDS effort).  

Take Namibia, for instance. UNAIDS expresses its pleasure in its report that in Namibia 25 million condoms are distributed annually by the government – or, as the report puts it, “equivalent to seven condoms per male aged 15-49.” Twenty-five million. Every year. The UN announces with great pride that this brilliant plan, together with widespread HIV testing and education, “appears” to have “stabilized” adult HIV rates in the country. Appears. Stabilized. Wow. There was a dream that was Uganda, and in that dream AIDS did not “appear” to be “stabilized,” but was actually being eradicated.

I conclude with one of the most powerful lines written on the question of AIDS-prevention. It is by Sam Ruteikara. “Hear my plea, HIV-AIDS profiteers,” he begs. “Let my people go. We understand that casual sex is dear to you, but staying alive is dear to us. Listen to African wisdom, and we will show you how to prevent AIDS.” Indeed.

To find out more about Uganda’s successful AIDS-prevention strategy, and how it was hijacked by Western “experts”, use’s search feature and type in “Uganda AIDS.”

Read related coverage:

Let My People Go, AIDS Profiteers

Interview With a World Leader in AIDS-Prevention