By BENNY SANDEKA
CONDOMS have the highest failure rates when it comes to contraceptives and remain the biggest cause in the spread of HIV and AIDS - that's the firm official stand of the Catholic Church.
In a Pontificate sanctioned book, the Case Against Condoms, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujilo said: "The Catholic church has repeatedly criticised programs promoting condoms as a totally effective and sufficient means of AIDS Prevention. The different Bishop's Conferences all over the world have expressed their concern regarding this problem."
According to Dr. Ligaya Acosta of the Human Life International, condoms have 15- 25 percent failure rates in preventing HIV and AIDS.
"The HIV virus is 450% smaller than the sperm. So even if sperms cannot pass through the holes in the condom, the HIV virus can easily pass through because of its microscopic size," said Dr. Acosta.
"I am quite concerned because people, especially the young are misled when total protection seemingly offered to them, while in fact there is no such total protection. Aware of the immensity of the pandemic, I want to speak out regarding the need not only to contain expansion of this pandemic but also, the need to prevent condom users from getting an infection that they previously thought was impossible to get, and which until now has had lethal consequences," said Cardinal Lopez in his book.
This stance was again drummed home to the Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea by their pro-life Missionaries to encourage Catholic congregations throughout the country to abstain from using condoms and instead be faithful their partners.
PNG's National Aids Council Secretariat has been advocating the use of condoms as a safety measure in containing the spread of HIV and AIDS. They expect that with the use of condoms, the HIV and AIDS figures were expected to plateau around the turn of this century.
However, latest NACS figures indicate that the number of new cases are on the increase with the rural population now highly vulnerable.