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Vatican claims condoms don't prevent HIV infection

Vatican claims condoms don't prevent HIV infection

Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, the Vatican has launched a new program that includes an upcoming television broadcast that claims condoms do not prevent HIV infections, The [Manchester, U.K.] Guardian reports. The church had previously urged Catholics worldwide not to use condoms due to religious reasons, but it has shifted its approach to claim that prophylactics are so porous that HIV can easily slip through them. These claims will be examined in a BBC1 Panorama television program in the United Kingdom called Sex and the Holy City, set to air Sunday. "The AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon," says Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, during the program. "The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom. These margins of uncertainty should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger." The program also includes comments from a Catholic nun who told an HIV-positive choir director not to use condoms when having sex with his wife because they will not prevent her from infection. World Health Organization officials have denounced the Vatican's program and the claims made in it, pointing out that scientific evidence shows that consistent and correct condom usage can reduce the risk of HIV infection by 90% or more. A spokesperson for the organization said the program's "incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic that has already killed more than 20 million people and currently affects around 42 million."

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