VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Ghana believes more antiretroviral drugs, and not more condoms, is the best path to take in fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is the relator-general of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, said this today during press conference on the synod’s first working day.
In response to a question regarding the position of the synod on AIDS, and particularly the use of condoms, the cardinal first noted that there are two prevailing answers: the use of condoms, and a greater availability of antiretroviral drugs.
Regarding condoms, however, Cardinal Turkson said that from what he has seen in Ghana, they are only effective “in families where they resolve also to be faithful.”
He added that the “ordinary use of condoms” does not work to stop AIDS.
But even in cases of conjugal fidelity, the cardinal continued, condoms are not a reliable solution. He noted that condoms can burst, and they give “a false sense of security which rather facilitates the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
He called the use of condoms “risky.”
The most effective method for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, Cardinal Turkson affirmed, is “abstinence and loyalty and fidelity.”
The cardinal also urged more money to be spent on subsidizing the production of antiretroviral drugs.
“I think we would be happier, in Africa,” he said, if there were more “availability of the retroviral drugs.”
“Let us use those resources [spent on condoms] to support the production of retroviral drugs so they can be more available to people,” Cardinal Turkson urged. “Right now it is not available to very many, because of the cost.
“So if you have the means of bringing down the cost, that’s probably the big favor that we can do to people suffering from HIV/AIDS.”
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