Pope Should Change Catholic Church’s Opposition to Condom Use To Prevent Spread of HIV/AIDS, Opinion Piece Says
Although "[n]obody does nobler work throughout the developing world than the Catholic Church," the church's "hostility" toward condom use "is creating more AIDS orphans every day," New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in a Times opinion piece. The countries that have been "most successful" in curbing the spread of HIV -- including Thailand, Brazil, Uganda and Cambodia -- "have all relied in part on condoms to reduce transmission," Kristof says. However, the Catholic Church has "horribly undercut the war against AIDS" by attempting "to prevent Catholic clinics, charities and churches from giving out condoms or encouraging their use," as well as "argu[ing] loudly that condoms don't protect against HIV, thus discouraging their use," Kristof writes. If Pope Benedict XVI "wants to ease human suffering," he should encourage condom use as means of preventing the spread of HIV, which "would save vast numbers of lives," Kristof says, concluding, "That choice between obeying tradition and saving lives is stark, and let's all pray he'll make the courageous choice" (Kristof, New York Times, 5/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.