Pope Benedict XVI, who is making his first papal visit to Africa, has said that handing out condoms is not the answer in the fight against HIV/Aids. The pontiff, who preaches marital fidelity and abstinence, said the practice only increased the problem.
When will the religious right understand that it’s beside the point whether abstinence or monogamy prevent AIDS better than condom use? The point is that public programmes to promote abstinence or monogamy prevent AIDS less well than public programmes to promote condom use.
It’s a rhetorical question, of course. For the importance of public health evaporates when there’s an opportunity for a good bit of moralising. And who cares about a bodycount when you can claim a soulcount?