I came across this in my travels.
The claim that the Catholic Church has now resorted to stating that condoms do not prevent AIDS as a tactic to keep people in countries particularly affected from using contraception is going to be made on television by a Panorama program called "Sex and the Holy City".
Now first of all, this is just an article based on a report that I haven't read (but would love to) and there is always the possibility that it's inaccurate but if it's true I think that there are some interesting claims on both sides that I disagree with.
Some excerpts and commentary:
Half of all new infections are now in people under the age of 25 and most of these are young women living in the developing world.
Those are staggering numbers and quite alarming I think.
Some of the alleged statements by some Church people, including one highly placed Cardinal:
"The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom," he says.
also allegedly by Cardinal Trujillo:
The Archbishop of Nairobi :
Catherine Hankin, Chief scientific advisor to UNAidsresponds:
"It is a concern. From a technical point of view, the statements are totally incorrect.
"Latex condoms are impermeable. They do prevent HIV transmission."
First of all, as some people might know, I very much oppose the Catholic Church's stance on birth control, precisely because of my concern about the growing AIDS problem, particularly in developing countries.
However, it is a matter of the Churches' doctrine.
It just is unfortunate to me that the doctrine should take precedence over a health concern of this nature.
IF true I find the fact that Church officials now appear to be spreading misinformation regarding the effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted disease to be another matter entirely. The scientific evidence that condoms DO prevent AIDS is pretty overwhelming and in my view what the Church is being accused of doing is deliberately telling falsehoods in order to prevent people from using condoms.
However, I also find it troubling that while the opposition insists that condoms DO prevent AIDS they come off to me (at least in this article) like condoms are the only solution. And they're wrong because obviously behavior modification will also help. If you don't use needles or have sex, that's also prevention.
I wish that rather than being at odds the two sides could come up with a plan that acknowledged behavior modification as a goal through education while promoting the use of condoms as a safety measure.
Instead what seems to be happening is a further polarization of both sides of the issue and that is very unfortunate for the people in developing countries most affected by AIDS.
Edited by Una Salus Lillius, 09 October 2003 - 10:36 AM.