What about Condoms?

SURELY CONDOMS ARE REQUIRED TO REDUCE HIV IN POOR COUNTRIES?

Mercy Sister Mary Lavelle is the medical coordinator for the Archdiocese of Nairobi, Kenya; a country with one of the highest proportions of HIV-infected youths in the world. She is totally against the pro-condom campaign in Kenya. She promotes chastity as the only realistic way to save the next generation of Kenyans because she knows, from firsthand experience, the failure rate of the condom (The Record, 8/2/2002). Uganda's government's fight to eradicate AIDS preaches chastity more than condoms because condom programmes have been generally recognised to be failing (Zenit, 2003). In fact, if it is true that HIV actually causes AIDS, the Catholic Church (which provides more global AIDS care than any other institution) has played a major role in containing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Without its message of sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage the epidemic would have been arguably worse. Not one country that has relied on condoms to reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate has succeeded. Instead, those African countries with the highest condom availability also have the highest HIV/AIDS rates (PRI, Vol 6, No 19, 2004).

BUT MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE STILL GOING TO HAVE SEX ANYWAY.

Then many young people are going to become very sick, anyway. Consider the following quote from doctors Friedman and Trivelli of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council of New York City's Board of Education: 'Although no-one would argue that condoms may help reduce the risk of pregnancy and of some diseases if used perfectly, a closer look at the circumstances of failure renders this option unacceptable. Condoms record a 15% failure for youngsters in the first year of use, they offer no protection for chlamydia or HPV and have a 2-4% rate of tearing, breakage and slippage. With regard to HIV they are not impermeable.' (Condoms " High Risk, Pediatrics, 2/97, p. 285). From 2 to 31%, no stats on condoms say they are 100% safe.



* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.