Friday, July 13, 2007

Gates and Aids

The Socialist Banner is no friend of Bill Gates and other capitalist philanthropists [ see here ]believing that only going to the root cause of Africa's problems will alleviate the poverty that exists - and that problem is capitalism , itself . But we do acknowledge that out of charity there can be some limited good , even if in this case it is bad news .

We now note that a $37 million 3 -year study funded by the Gates Foundation have found that women who used a latex diaphragm for possible protection against HIV had the same infection rates as those who did not. Researchers conclude that they cannot recommend use of a diaphragm as a low-cost intervention that women could use as a means of reducing their risk of HIV infection.
Researchers are desperately seeking a low-cost method that women could use -- without the consent of male partners -- to protect themselves against HIV. About 20 percent of adults are infected in Zimbabwe and South Africa, where the experiment was conducted, and women there run twice the risk of infection as men. In cultures where women are traditionally subservient to men, they have less of a say about matters of sex -- when to have it, whom to have it with, and whether condoms or other safer sexual practices will be used.

The study was conducted in Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa, and in Harare, Zimbabwe. It enrolled nearly 5,000 women ages 18-49 and followed them an average of 18 months. Half of the women were given diaphragms and a gel lubricant, while the other half were not. Both groups were also given condoms and extensive counseling to have their partners use them.
By the end of the study, HIV infection rates were high and almost identical .

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