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Monday, March 30, 2009

Condom And The Pope

Pope Benedict XVI kick-started his tour of Africa with a controversy. He made a statement indicating that distribution of condoms are not a solution to Africa's HIV epidemic. He went on to add that on the contrary it increases the problem.

Maybe he was only furthering the philosophy of his predecessor who often said that sexual abstinence was the best way to prevent the spread of the disease. Or maybe he was just furthering the catholic church's agenda of rejecting anything to do with artificial contraception.

Either way, the Pope may have just popped the cat out of the bag. With 22 million people having HIV in Africa, any kind of means to reduce the incidence of transmission should be welcomed, even if it does not conform to the religious teachings. Education campaigns promoting abstinence have not really worked in the past even in developed nations, the nature's call overpowering the sensibilities time and time again. Who do you educate? The ones having the HIV? They couldn't care less. The ones not having HIV? How do they know who is and who is not safe to be with?

With a single statement, the Pope may have inadvertently indicated at the futility of using a condom. People in Africa might even think of saving the effort involved in procuring and wearing the rubber. It doesn't help. The Pope says so.

The Pope's next stop is at Angola to raise awareness about famine and poverty. Will he say something against distribution of food aid and World Bank Loans?

1 comment:

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