Phnom Penh (Agenzia Fides) – The main cause for the surge in the spread of AIDS in Cambodia is the birth control policy and the promotion of artificial contraception, explains Human Life International (HLI) to Fides. HLI is the pro-life movement which has recently completed a mission in the south-east Asian country.
Cambodia is one of the countries with the most offices of international agencies which promote family planning and population control : “Engender Health”, USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and its RACHA program (Reproductive and Child Health Alliance). In the last 20 years, thanks to substantial funding from these organisations, the State has spent more than 600 million dollars on population control and contraception programs.
Analysis of these actions has seen a drop in the fertility of Cambodian women (from 6 to 3 children on average), but also a rapid spread of AIDS. From when the first case of infection was detected in 1991, in the 15 years following, 94,000 people died from AIDS and those infected have increased beyond all proportion, to 160,000 cases in a population of 13 million, which makes Cambodia one of the worst affected by the epidemic in South-east Asia.
“These programs, according to the promoters, would have had to stop AIDS,” notes Human Life International to Fides. The paradox is, rather, that this massive campaign to spread contraceptives and condoms, intended as a 'panacea' against AIDS, “has instead encouraged its spread, fuelling a culture of sexuality as a commodity.”
The Church and many Christian-based NGOs have been active in countering this approach: Christian movements such as “Couples for Christ” promote training seminars for young couples, while religious orders like the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians work in educating new generations to spread the culture of respect for life, the person, for corporeality and sexuality. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/2/2011)