Papua New Guinea Bishop Slams AIDS Ads as Promoting Promiscuity
August 2, 2005
Catholic Bishop Paul Marx of the Kerema Diocese, Papua New Guinea, said recently that he was stunned by a new National AIDS Council (NAC) campaign slogan, "No Condom, no sex," which is featured in television, radio, and newspaper advertisements.
"Remember, you don't have to have sex just because condoms are around, but if you do decide to take the risk and have sex, now you've got no more excuses to not have safe sex," reads one NAC newspaper ad. The campaign features Australian rugby star Mal Meninga and young people advising condom use as one option to prevent HIV, along with abstinence and monogamy. Australia's overseas aid program, AusAID, supports the campaign, which is also installing 10,500 condom dispensers throughout Papua New Guinea.
"It has nothing else to propose than condom, condom, and more condom," said Marx. "It is sending out the wrong message that promiscuity is the normal, ordinary way of life. By distributing condoms all over the place it will facilitate even further that promiscuity, which is the main breeding ground of HIV/AIDS."
Marx said the NAC campaign should instead emphasize faithfulness in marriage and discourage unmarried youths from having sex.
NAC said its campaign does include messages about abstinence and monogamy, and that its role as a public health organization is to give safety information and options to people. "It is better to inform them now about protecting people from catching the AIDS virus rather than regretting for the rest of our lives that basic information about prevention options was not given," the council said in a statement.
Australian Associated Press
08.02.05; Lloyd Jones