Catholic ban on condoms is spreading AIDS says UN

The rapid spread in Latin America of the virus that causes AIDS is made worse by the Roman Catholic Church’s stand against using condoms, a UN official has said.

Some 1.7 million people across Latin America are infected with the HIV or have full-blown Aids, and the epidemic is spreading swiftly with around 410,000 new cases in 2006, up from around 320,000 new cases in 2004, according the UN Aids programme, UNAids.

“In Latin America the use of condoms has been demonised, but if they were used in every relationship I guarantee the epidemic would be resolved in the region,” said Alberto Stella, the UNAids Coordinator for Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

The Catholic Church, which holds sway in Latin America despite the rise in evangelical churches, opposes all forms of contraception and instead promotes abstinence as a way to avoid spreading Aids. “The fact young people start to be sexually active between 15 and 19 without sex education contributes to the spreading of the virus, as well as the fact that the evidence shows abstinence is not working,” Stella said.

Latin America is home to nearly half the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics, but the Church’s position on premarital sex and contraception often clashes with modern values. Brazil, the region’s largest Catholic nation, regularly distributes free condoms to try and bring down HIV infection rates.

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2 responses to “Catholic ban on condoms is spreading AIDS says UN

  • Kevin

    “abstinence is not working”

    Evaluate that statement. Either the speaker doesn’t understand what the word ‘abstinence’ means or doesn’t understand the mechanisms in question. The spread of AIDS is unrelated to opinions about anything. It is only related to the AIDS status and behaviors of individuals. If condom use were 100% infallibly guaranteed and deployed in every single transaction, the AIDS infection rate would be slowed to a rate that would be a function of the manufacturing defect rates of condoms.

    Condoms = slowing AIDS infection rate
    Abstinence = prevent possibility of any further AIDS infection among those who abstain

    The key is that abstinence is a behavior, not a political posture. By definition, there’s no sex in abstinence.

    Because of the science involved, saying “abstinence is not working” is like walking around in a sandwich sign that says “IDIOT” on both sides.

  • Dan

    Now let me get this straight. The Church teaches that sex should be limited to marriage and that contraception is wrong and this teaching is responsible for spreading AIDS among the populace. So we are to understand that were it not for their pious desire to live in accordance with Church teachings gay men in a bathhouses and heterosexual men visiting prostitutes would use condoms. Got it.

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