Religious Leaders Call for Halt to Condom Distribution in Malawi Despite AIDS Pandemic
May 27, 2003
A group of religious leaders in Malawi decided Monday to lobby the government to halt condom distribution, despite the AIDS pandemic that has hit the country. The religious leaders said that the teachings of Christianity and Islam, the main religions of Malawi, do not support the use of condoms. A joint task force of government and religious leaders was established two years ago to deal with the country's AIDS crisis. Geoffrey Elliott Matonga, spokesperson for the group's religious leaders, said they would lobby the government to ban the promotion of condoms through advertisements on radio, television, newspapers and posters. He said the task force would also lobby to discourage donors from funding condom promotional campaigns. Matonga called on the government to make HIV testing and premarital counseling mandatory, and he noted that the Christian Bible and the Islamic Quran preach abstinence and monogamy as ways of preventing the spread of the disease. At least 14 percent of Malawi's 11 million people have HIV.
05.26.03; Raphael Tenthani
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.