Showing posts with label condoms allowed to prevent HIV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label condoms allowed to prevent HIV. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Elizabeth Taylor is so beautiful. I remember her in "National Velvet", which I saw when I was about 10 years old. Her beauty was nearly unbelievable to me. I wanted to look like her, even then. Elizabeth grew up gracefully, never passing through the awkward stage.

Then I remember "A Place in the Sun" with the marvelous Montgomery Clift, with whom Elizabeth remained dear friends as long as he lived. Indeed, she was in love with him, but, he was gay. Monty loved Elizabeth, too, but not the way she loved him. He did a damned fine job of acting the part of a man deeply in love in the film.

Elizabeth as Maggie the Cat in "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" is one of my favorites of her roles. She maneuvers Brick (Paul Newman) and Big Daddy (Burl Ives), until she gets what she wants.

"That girl's got life in her, alright."

Words that Tennessee Williams put into the mouth of Big Daddy have a permanent place on my sidebar.

"There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity...You can smell it. It smells like death."

What an emotional workout it was when Grandpère and I went to see "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" We felt battered and bruised when we left the theater after watching Elizabeth and Richard Burton verbally duke it out for a couple of hours. The movie caused us to cringe a bit, because it hit home in that we both realized that a good many of our own quarrels were unnecessary and served no useful purpose, except to upset us and those around us. For me, as a result of seeing the movie, I was inspired to try to do better.

Though Elizabeth may have been a bit confused at times about the direction of her life, as we all are from time to time, she was as good as she was beautiful. Don't fail to read Leonardo's moving post at Eruptions At the Foot of the Volcano about Elizabeth's early advocacy in the cause of AIDS. She was amongst the first of the Hollywood celebrities to jump in and call attention to and demand help for those suffering from AIDS and HIV.

Eternal rest grant unto Elizabeth, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


From the AP:

Using a condom is a lesser evil than transmitting HIV to a sexual partner — even if that means a woman averting a possible pregnancy, the Vatican said Tuesday, signaling a seismic shift in papal teaching as it further explained Pope Benedict XVI's comments.

The Vatican has long been criticized for its patent opposition to condom use, particularly in Africa where AIDS is rampant. But the latest interpretation of Benedict's comments about condoms and HIV essentially means the Roman Catholic Church is acknowledging that its long-held, anti-birth control stance against condoms doesn't justify putting someone's life at risk.

"This is a game-changer," said the Rev. Jim Martin, a Jesuit editor and writer.

The news that the use of a condom to prevent infecting one's partner may be applied beyond male prostitutes comes from the Rev. Federico Lombardi:

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters Tuesday that he asked the pope whether he intended his comments to only apply to male prostitutes. Benedict replied that it really didn't matter, that the important thing was the person in question took into consideration the life of the other, Lombardi said.

As I said in the comments at The Lead, "And it took the pope only years to come to this conclusion. However, this IS good news, and it is a game-changer.

Still, I think of those who became infected with HIV and those who died during the years while the pope was making up his mind."

UNAIDS estimates that 22.4 million people in Africa are infected with HIV, and that 54 percent — or 12.1 million — are women. Heterosexual transmission of HIV and multiple, heterosexual partners are believed to be a major cause of the high infection rates in Africa.

Why so long and why was it so difficult for the pope to announce the good news? It seems to me that the principle of the two-fold effect could have been applied much earlier to justify the use of condoms to prevent HIV infection.

Monsignor Jacques Suaudeau, an expert at the Vatican's bioethics advisory board, said the pope was articulating the idea in church teaching — long practiced by some church officials with regards to condoms — that there are degrees of evil.

"Contraception is not the worst evil. The church does not see it as good, but the church does not see it as the worst," he told The Associated Press. "Abortion is far worse. Passing on HIV is criminal. That is absolute irresponsibility."

The biggie here is that despite past statements to the contrary, the pope now admits that using condoms helps to prevent the spread of HIV infections.

H/T to Ann Fontaine at The Lead.