Vatican Restates Position Favoring Abstinence, Opposing Condoms to Prevent HIV Transmission
The Vatican yesterday reiterated its support for sexual abstinence and its opposition to condoms as means to prevent the spread of HIV worldwide, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports. Monsignor Javier Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers, speaking ahead of a three-day Vatican conference on health care in Roman Catholic hospitals and clinics worldwide, said that abstinence is the "only" way to prevent HIV/AIDS. The Catholic Church maintains that condoms are not 100% effective in preventing HIV and contribute to a "pan-sexual" society, in which sex is a means for pleasure as well as procreation, according to Barragan. Health workers and HIV/AIDS advocates have criticized the Vatican for its "steadfast" position against condom use, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas that are heavily affected by HIV/AIDS (Winfield, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.