Mozambique Archbishop Chimoio Says European-Made Condoms, Antiretrovirals Tainted With HIV
Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Mozambique, on Wednesday said that two European countries are manufacturing condoms that deliberately have been tainted with HIV as part of a plan to "colonize the continent," Reuters reports. Chimoio declined to name the countries or identify the source of the allegations. In addition, Chimoio said that some pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing antiretroviral drugs that are tainted with the virus "in order to finish quickly the African people" (Mangwiro, Reuters, 9/26).
Chimoio said that abstinence is the best way to prevent HIV. He added that a "new mentality" is necessary to fight HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. "It means marriage, people being faithful to their wives ... (and) young people must be abstaining from sexual relations," Chimoio said.
Chimoio's comments have upset some HIV/AIDS advocates, BBC News reports. "We've been using condoms for years now, and we still find them safe," Marcella Mahanjane, a Mozambican HIV/AIDS advocate, said. Gabe Judas -- director of Tchivirika, a drama group that promotes awareness about HIV/AIDS -- said that condoms are "one of the best ways of getting protection against" HIV/AIDS.
According to BBC News, about 17.5% of Mozambicans are Catholic (BBC News, 9/26). According to London's Guardian, Chimoio is "widely respected" in Mozambique, in part because of his work as a mediator during a 16-year civil war, which ended in 1992 (McGreal, Guardian, 9/27). More than 16% of the 19 million people living in Mozambique are HIV-positive, and about 500 new cases are recorded daily, Reuters reports (Reuters, 9/26).