As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]
by Rex Wockner
Pope Benedict XVI’s first-ever remarks on condom use were irresponsible, dangerous, ignorant, outrageous and insulting, officials of the International AIDS Society said March 20.
Speaking to reporters March 17, Benedict said AIDS is “a tragedy that cannot be overcome … through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem.”
IAS President Dr. Julio Montaner responded: “There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that condoms can increase HIV transmission – absolutely the contrary. … Instead of spreading ignorance, the pope should use his global position of leadership to encourage young people, who are our future, to protect themselves and others from HIV infection using all the tools we have at our disposal, including condoms. His remarks are insulting to the tireless efforts of committed scientific, public health and human rights leaders around the world.”
According to IAS Executive Director Craig McClure, “Male and female condoms, used correctly and consistently, can reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by 80 to 90 percent.”
“To suggest that condom use contributes to the HIV problem is not merely contrary to scientific evidence and global consensus, it contributes to fueling HIV infection and its consequences – sickness and death,” McClure said. “Such outrageous comments are not appropriate coming from the highest office in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.”
The IAS is the world’s leading association of HIV professionals, with more than 13,000 members from 188 countries working at all levels of the global response to HIV/AIDS. The society is the lead organizer of the biennial International AIDS Conference and the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.