Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on the African AIDS crisis caused a bit of controversy last week. The Pope said that condoms are not the solution to the problem of AIDS in Africa. Instead he praised fidelity and abstinence as the only true way to combat AIDS.
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has backed the pope saying yesterday that,
"the health crisis facing Africa was an enormous challenge but contraception was not the answer to stopping the spread of AIDS."
"The idea that you can solve a great spiritual and health crisis like AIDS with a few mechanical contraptions like condoms is ridiculous," the Archbishop of Sydney said in a television interview.
"Condoms are encouraging promiscuity. They are encouraging irresponsibility." Source
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations executive director Don Baxter said
"Calls for not using condoms and being faithful are heard by Africans to mean if they have regular partners, they don't need to wear condoms," Mr Baxter said. "It only requires one person in the quite complicated sexual networks to be exposed and then all in the network are at risk," he said. Source
Baxter misses the point. A life style change is needed in order to stop AIDS transmission, just like you need to give up smoking to help avoid lung cancer, you need to give up promiscuity to avoid spreading AIDS.
"People with condoms are emboldened to take more risks. Part of the counselling of people living with AIDS is “try not to spread it” -- in a word, to live abstinence. But before they got the disease they were told “hey, no need to curtail your libido, just use condoms.” If personal control is not achieved before contracting HIV/AIDS it is often impossible afterwards."
"You would think that Western journalists and politicians might condescend to ask us what we think about how to fight AIDS. But they haven’t. A pity, because they would have found that many of us support Pope Benedict XVI’s scepticism about the effectiveness of distributing condoms." Source
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