Perhaps I should say, doing Catholics one better on condoms. The Catholic Church has been telling people, for decades, that condoms don’t prevent HIV at all, and that they are against god. It seems Russia is prepared to outdo them on the misinformation score.
A Russian study actually blames condoms for the spread of HIV. The Russian Institute for Strategic Research (RISR), which was set up by the Kremlin in 2012, presented a report on Tuesday to Moscow’s city council that casts doubt over the validity of well documented statistics showing the spread of HIV in Russia.
It’s worth noting that one of stated goals of the RISR is “Family-based solutions as a strategy for overcoming depopulation.” Which is perhaps why it’s not a surprise to see that the study’s authors alluded to “traditional values” being the route to stopping the spread of HIV, blaming promiscuity and homosexuality for infections.
That certainly sounds familiar. Looks like the U.S. and Russia have a lot on common these days.
Tatyana Guzenkova, deputy head of the organization, presented the report, as according to the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant. It is also not a stretch to imagine this being used by the Kremlin to buttress its ongoing hostility towards Russia’s LGBT movement.
Like most things under the Putin regime, the RISR is hard to see as anything but government loyalists, especially because internal dispute about the study was quite vocal. The head of the Federal Center for fighting AIDS, Vadim Pokrovsky, for example, stressed the importance of focusing on condoms to reduce the spread of HIV.