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Chinese Cartoon Condoms
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Well, yesterday was "World AIDS Day". In case you weren't paying attention, AIDS is still spreading like wildfire through much of Africa and now much of Asia.

Stories like this are somewhat heartening:

China is set to lift a long-term ban on condom adverts as part of efforts to tackle Aids, state media has reported.

The policy shift was reported a day after China marked World Aids day by launching a campaign to stamp out its spiralling pandemic - its biggest-ever public acknowledgement of an issue which has long been ignored.

So at least the Chinese get it, albeit much later than they should have. But they shouldn't just be lifting bans on condom advertising, they should be setting up free dispenseries throughout the country.

The real tragedy of AIDS is that it is truly preventable. The transmission vectors are virtually completely behavioral, and sex remains the single most prolific one. But few acknowledge this.

Here's President Bush's statement on World AIDS Day. Among other things he says:

To help stop the global spread of AIDS we must prevent mothers from passing the HIV virus to their children. My Administration has committed $500 million to the new International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative, which will focus on countries in Africa and the Caribbean where the problem is the most severe. This Initiative seeks to treat 1 million women annually and to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 40 percent within 5 years. It also increases the availability of preventative care and drug treatment therapy, and seeks to improve critical healthcare delivery systems. The International Mother and Child Prevention Initiative will save thousands of lives, and assist our vital effort to overcome the global devastation of HIV/AIDS.

Now granted that mother/child AIDS transmission is a problem, but should this be where the efforts are concentrated? Is this really going to "help stop the global spread of AIDS"?

Nowhere in Bush's speech do I find anything alluding to the fact that the disease is primarily spread through sexual behavior. He talks about "prevention", but doesn't mention condoms, presumably for fear of offending the religious sensibilities of the Right. This is idiocy.

We're not talking about smallpox or some other disease that's airborne. Yet if you mostly listed to world leaders on the subject you'd think AIDS was akin to malaria or whooping cough, rather than primarily being a sexually-transmitted disease. This continued denial and political correctness is unfortunately only going to cost more and more lives in the future.

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