Vatican: condoms don't stop Aids

http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,7369,1059068,00.html

Vatican: condoms don't stop Aids

Steve Bradshaw
Thursday October 9, 2003
The Guardian

The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.
The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

A senior Vatican spokesman backs the claims about permeable condoms, despite assurances by the World Health Organisation that they are untrue.

The church's claims are revealed in a BBC1 Panorama programme, Sex and the Holy City, to be broadcast on Sunday. The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, told the programme: "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.

"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."

The WHO has condemned the Vatican's views, saying: "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."

The organisation says "consistent and correct" condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90%. There may be breakage or slippage of condoms - but not, the WHO says, holes through which the virus can pass .

Scientific research by a group including the US National Institutes of Health and the WHO found "intact condoms... are essentially impermeable to particles the size of STD pathogens including the smallest sexually transmitted virus... condoms provide a highly effective barrier to transmission of particles of similar size to those of the smallest STD viruses".

The Vatican's Cardinal Trujillo said: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognisable fact."

The church opposes any kind of contraception because it claims it breaks the link between sex and procreation - a position Pope John Paul II has fought to defend.

In Kenya - where an estimated 20% of people have the HIV virus - the church condemns condoms for promoting promiscuity and repeats the claim about permeability. The archbishop of Nairobi, Raphael Ndingi Nzeki, said: "Aids... has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms."

Sex and the Holy City includes a Catholic nun advising her HIV-infected choirmaster against using condoms with his wife because "the virus can pass through".

In Lwak, near Lake Victoria, the director of an Aids testing centre says he cannot distribute condoms because of church opposition. Gordon Wambi told the programme: "Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/Aids."

Panorama found the claims about permeable condoms repeated by Catholics as far apart as Asia and Latin America.

That's crazy!

After all, we know that condoms are much more effective than abstinance!

"Sex and the Holy City includes a Catholic nun advising her HIV-infected choirmaster against using condoms with his wife because "the virus can pass through"."

Anyone want to bet that this was taken out of context?

well it is extreme harmful for the vatican to be saying that condoms dont stop aids. That going to give all kinds of people the wrong idea. Many people depend on the churchs opinion for sex. Its irresponsible for the vatican to come out with such a strong stance that comdoms dont stop aids when tests over and over again have shown that condoms are effective at stopping the spread of the hiv virus.

its estimated 1/3 of africa is going to be killed by hiv, it would be nice if the vatican decieded to do the right and actually try to stop the spread of the virus.

Telling people not to have sex is not an effective solution in countries where people believe they can cure themselves of hiv by having sex with a virgin.

"After all, we know that condoms are much more effective than abstinance!"


point taken, but the world aint perfect, and people are still gonna do it

with that in mind, maybe some damage limitation is in order - even if it is not following the book


personally I think the Vatican are completely irresponsible here.


"Sex and the Holy City includes a Catholic nun advising her HIV-infected choirmaster against using condoms with his wife because "the virus can pass through"."

"Anyone want to bet that this was taken out of context?"


I'm having problems thinking of a kind of context it could have been said in that is not irresponsible - at the very least


the only saving grace here is that luckily the vatican represent Xtianity less and less

One other thing...consider the source with this. The BBC has ALWAYS been very anit-Vatican. Just keep that in mind.

Later today, I'll see if I can find what the Vatican is actually saying about this, then we can compare it to what BBC is saying the Vatican is saying.

Always consider the source...

yeah, those damn Anglicans

Has nothing to do with Anglicans...has something specifically to do with the BBC.

I've seen this story from another source too

Hiv doesn´t lead to AIDS either!-Thabo Mbeki

As I said yix, time permitting, I will do some looking today, and present what the Vatican is really saying.

If I had to guess, it is something like: "You can still get AIDS from condom-protected sex. A condom is not a safety net. Abstinance is the only 100% effective way to prevent the sexual transmission of AIDS"...

As I said though, I'll see if I can find what they are really saying.

StKolbe

be very interested in what other sources you come up with

must say though, it sounded awfully like you were condoning the Vaticans actions

I'm not condoning anything until I know what they are actually saying. For Church matters, the BBC is about the last source I will trust...

StKolbe, any info on the following would be great:"Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/Aids."

My 2 points on this:

The church's point is telling people condoms will not protect them from aids. Theyre not saying don't bother using them, they're saying not to have sex outside of marriage ESPECIALLY WHEN AIDS IS RAMPANT WHERE YOU LIVE.

How can one spouse have aids and the other not. Either he cheated on her or she married him knowing he had aids?

"How can one spouse have aids and the other not. Either he cheated on her or she married him knowing he had aids?"

Actually I heard that the majority of HIV/AIDS cases in Africa were originally (early 90s?) from dirty needles in hospitals. I'm pretty sure that I heard that some HIV tests even ended up giving people HIV.

I believe that condoms would slow the spread of sexual transmitted diseases much faster than abstinence education. I understand though that its not the church's job to worry about that though.

"I understand though that its not the church's job to worry about that though."

I completely disagree with you on this. It most definitely is their job to worry about it. However, what they cannot do it propose a solution (the use of condoms) to a problem that in and of itself is considered a sin.

"However, what they cannot do it propose a solution (the use of condoms) to a problem that in and of itself is considered a sin"

....because they are assholes

And you're the whole ass. What's your point?

I pray to god that you get AIDS, die and go to heaven. Have a good day