Chastity Doesn't Suit Brazil's AIDS Policy: Minister
May 14, 2007
Brazil's secretary for women's rights, Nilcea Freire, said on Friday that the nation recommends barrier methods to prevent STDs and HIV despite criticism from the Roman Catholic Church. During his visit this week to Brazil, the world's largest Catholic country, Pope Benedict XVI frequently spoke in support of premarital chastity, facing a nation with relaxed sexual mores.
"I have nothing for or against someone who wants to be chaste or someone who doesn't want to be, but we cannot base our program of prevention of [STDs] and AIDS by advocating chastity," said Freire. "We recommend the use of both male and female condoms, whose use has been shown to be effective in the prevention of [STDs] and HIV."
Brazil distributes millions of free condoms, including to schools, which the Vatican has fiercely criticized.
Health Minister Jose Gomes Temperao declined to accompany the pope Saturday while he attended a drug rehabilitation center. Temperao's action was made to underscore his defense of keeping church and state policies about health separate, reported the Sao Paulo newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.