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Archbishop OKs condoms for HIV couples

The Archbishop of Mombasa in Kenya has said that while behaviour change remains the first strategy in the war against HIV/AIDS, infected couples are in a unique situation that needs to be understood with compassion.

Catholic Information Service for Africa reports that newly-appointed Archbishop Boniface Lele said that some HIV positive couples could use condoms to prevent re-infection so as to prolong their life.

"Since these people are married, what do you tell them? Do you tell them to separate? That would be against Church teaching," he said.

Separation would also stress them and even lead to further spread of HIV through infidelity, he said.

"With some counselling - and this is something we don't tell everyone - you can ask some to use a condom, so that the rate of re-infection goes down," the Archbishop added.

Archbishop Lele, who disclosed that he had lost close kin and some diocesan staff to AIDS-related illnesses, said the use of condoms to prolong the life of HIV-carriers is consistent with Church teaching.

"Faced with the prospect of families being wiped out, and without sanctioning separations of properly constituted matrimonies, the use of condoms to prolong life may seem a useful tool to prolong life in the long run."

Couples With HIV May Use Condoms, Says New Catholic Archbishop (Catholic Information Service for Africa/ 3/4/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Kenya Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Boniface Lele

Papal theologian weighs condom use against AIDS (CathNews 2/2/05)
Pell holds hard line on condoms (Online Catholics 2/2/05)
Cardinal says condoms ban due to implied sexual immorality (CathNews 25/1/05)
Pope calls attention to AIDS in developing world (CathNews 24/1/05)
Condom controversy continues (CathNews 21/1/05)
Spanish Church acknowledges role of condoms in AIDS fight (CathNews 20/1/05)
Priest says AIDS fight must tackle 'sex object' culture (CathNews 1/12/04)

Mombassa Diocese gets new 'Metropolitan Archbishop' (Coastweek 8-14/4/05)

14 Apr 2005