The Vatican has refused to moderate or withdraw the controversial statement of Pope Benedict in a trip to Africa that condoms only “increase the problem” of AIDS. The anti-condom stance outraged Kevin De Cock, director of the World Health Organisation’s HIV/AIDS department, who noted that there is no evidence that condoms increase the rate of AIDs and that many studies show that it is an effective protection against the disease. People like De Cock have been struggling against a disinclination in Africa to wear condoms.
Belgian Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx was equally strong, noting that the pope’s comments “… reflect a dangerous doctrinaire vision. His declarations could demolish years of prevention and education and endanger many human lives.” Other countries have expressed “concern” over the statements.
In another story this week, it appears that the HIV inflection rate in Washington, D.C. is now higher than West Africa.