by Abongta Shu Moncha Brain
Published on: Oct 29, 2002
Type: Opinions

Many people have likened the act of using condoms to eating bananas with the peelings; some say its like bathing with your clothes on; others think its like watching a movie with your eyes closed. No matter what the analogy, one can confidently conclude that these are all phrases exhuming people’s frustrations about the whole idea of using the rubbers.
One young man confessed to me that using condoms is like sentencing love to life imprisonment. Others think that it’s actually plastifying love, thus, rendering it as interesting as a boring concert. From these popular sayings, it can therefore be said that insisting on using condoms as a prevention method is behaving like a man who clings on to a serpent when he found himself drowning in a river.
The society today has been fragmented into two antagonistic categories of people; on the one hand, are the die-hards to the “half-a-loaf-is-better-than-nothing philosophy". They argue that it’s better to use condoms than nothing and they also belief that, condoms are indispensable if we have to contain the STDs/HIV/AIDS since people can’t be faithful or abstain from sex all the time.
On the other side are those who uphold religious values as their guiding principles and therefore reject condoms as immoral and offer no solution. They belief in the All-or-none philosophy and to them, building the potentials of fidelity and abstinence is the surest way of preventing these diseases. To them, life is so precious to be placed in the unstable hands of condoms. At the crossroads of this two contrasting groups of people is another group; those who reject or accept the condom just for the sake of it, without any influence from any of the other two classes. What ever happens, they choose whichever option that appeal to their consciences irrespective of consequences. They have the I-don’t-care attitude of life.
Condoms as a matter of fact, offer no protection against HIVAIDS irrespective of what people choose to belief. There is non-in the world that has been proven to be 100% safe. Even those who advocate condoms will testify to this. They often tell you, condoms are better than nothing is. There may be some reality in such a statement, one can’t Denny the fact, but my question now is; considering the lethality of the HIV/AIDS, are we realistic enough to place our lives on a probability?
For those who consistently use condoms, there will come a day when all odds suddenly turn against you and you end up infected. Note that it doesn’t matter the magnitude of the risk you are taking. Once the HIV gets into you, you become a living corps irrespective of the fact whether it came in through a high or low risk. The HIV has no conscience; it will not pity you because of your consistency in using condoms or because of your laudable efforts in reducing the risk factors involved in contracting it. Once you are careless and happened to be infected, it affects you just the same way as it will affect the person who had been careless all through.
We have grown into a system where in, everything is done to always escape the truth. Facing the truth to many a people is like meeting a menacing ghost. Each time we come face to face with reality, we are thrown off balance because it becomes a situation where in we reveal who we really are. That’s why we keep going round and round in circles like drugged sheep in an attempt to evade the truth glaring at us. But, the truth remains the truth, no matter how long it takes us to discover it.
From the bottom of our hearts, we know that the purest methods of avoiding STDs/HIV/AIDS that are 100% safe are Abstinence and Fidelity. We understand that cultivating these practices, will distant us from these deadly diseases, but we selfishly and painfully evade this concrete truth and introduce the condom with all its shortcomings simply most of the times because of materialism.
Abstinence and fidelity are all ingredients of chastity, that precious word which when mentioned sends shock waves through our spines because of our dangerous lifestyles. There are a multiplicity of youths and adults alike guilty of illicit sex and marital infidelity. It’s no exaggeration to say that people, as such, don’t even know where such words are written in the dictionary. Their eyes see promiscuity where abstinence or fidelity is written. They are more comfortable with flirting around, than being reserved.
Chastity is a quality of the mind, which makes you, stay away from what I can term sexual crimes like illicit sex, prostitution and marital infidelity. It seams to many people as a figment of the imagination and unrealistic or impractical. The truth is that we only need a commitment and dedication to cultivate it. It is rewarding to be chaste than be promiscuous.
If some of our girls could spend one-tenth of the energy they use in running after men for money to develop the values of chastity, they will generate the best quality of it. If men could stop polluting girls, chastity will not only be a dream but a reality.
These condoms we so belief in can never protect us from AIDS any better than a hen promises to change herself into a dove. Only chastity has such powers. It is the only route to an AIDS free world. A brief look at the history of condoms can help us see the real picture.
Condoms came into the limelight in the dearly departed 1960s when the ideas of family planing were beginning to take firm roots in the consciousness of people. At that time, it was used as a birth control method, classified under barrier methods of prevention. That is, stopping the life-laden sperms from meeting the expectant egg from the ovaries. There was just the male condom at the time. With the advent of women’s emancipation and with the strive for gender balance in all spheres, the female condom was invented. This came to resolve the common cry from some women that the male condom was under the sole control of men. Women thus wanted something with which they could hold on to as the people in command. The female condom though still undergoing a revolution, has been no better than the male condom. As these condoms were proving unreliable, Spermicides (chemicals that kill sperms) were introduced to check their failure rate.
No major success has been recorded in this sphere especially as many people using the condoms still fell into the unwelcoming hands of ‘unwanted pregnancies’. That is how the whole idea of doubling contraceptives was born into family planing circles to increase the chances of prevention.
This failure rate of condoms is not uncalled for, considering that the microscopic sperms somehow find their way through the walls of the condoms and into the safety of the woman’s reproductive system to embrace the waiting hands of the egg and thus, pregnancy occurs. Imagine that if the sluggish sperms could pass through condoms, what more of the HIV virus, which is less than microscopic and looking for the slightest, chance to cross boundaries? The condom becomes no match for it to penetrate.
I think if half the energy and finances used in producing, marketing and promoting condoms could be used in developing the precious qualities of chastity in people, AIDS would have been history today.

Moncha Abongta Shu
Prolife Activist

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