Dr. Edward C. Green, president and director of the New Paradigm Research Fund, told CNA Oct. 6 that many experts in the field of family planning do not see this latest study as “the last word on the matter” and there is a “complex debate” around these issues.
“When we are talking about poor, malnourished overworked African women, for example, the evidence shows that the health and even survival of both mothers and their babies is greatly increased if births can be spaced by three or four years, as opposed to a woman having a baby every year until she drops, exhausted or dead, or her babies are born underweight or have other serious problems,” he said.
But, Green cautioned, “there are tradeoffs.”
If hormonal contraceptives cause increased vulnerability to HIV infection, he said, that would “certainly be a big tradeoff for Africans or anyone else where HIV infection rates are high.”
Green, an anthropologist and former director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, said the New Paradigm Fund grew out of the Harvard project. His organization has “strong views” on AIDS prevention.
“Basically, neither condoms nor drugs are the solution, especially in Africa, where I have done most of my professional work,” he said.
The New Paradigm Fund advocates “behavior prevention strategies” such as changing sexual behavior or reinforcing positive behaviors, instead of advocating more condoms, testing or drugs.
It is a “big mistake” for AIDS funding to go to technology-based prevention strategies and to keep that funding from religious organizations, he added.
Most people become infected through having multiple and concurrent sexual partners and by starting sexual intercourse at an earlier age, he explained.
Religious organizations are “closer to the real solution” in advocating fidelity to one partner at a time and delaying sexual debut than the technology promoted by the United Nations, the United States, the World Bank, the European Union and other global leaders, he said.
Green expands on his criticisms and recommendations about AIDS prevention in his book “Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World.”
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