The Roman Catholic Church is relaunching its opposition to condom use, arguing that the prophylactics are ineffective in blocking the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS. In the BBC Panorama program “Sex and the Holy City” to air in Britain this weekend, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, suggested that if spermatozoon are not blocked 100 percent by condoms, the smaller AIDS virus would transmit even more easily: “These margins of uncertainty… should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger,” reported Reuters and Gay.com UK. The church’s position was reiterated this week at the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar held in Senegal. UNAIDS estimates that 29.4 million of the 42 million people worldwide infected with HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa, Agence France Presse reported.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) chastised the church for its latest propaganda, stating “These incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people, and currently affects at least 42 million.” Some African priests attending the Symposium in Senegal agree. “We must not blind ourselves to reality: the condom is one way of stopping AIDS progressing, Democratic Republic of Congo priest Joseph Mpundu told AFP.