Mozambique: Shock at Archbishop Condom Claim
September 27, 2007
AIDS activists in Mozambique are expressing dismay at recent comments by the nation's Catholic archbishop, who suggested some condoms made in Europe are deliberately infected with HIV.
"Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose," Francisco Chimoio told a BBC reporter, though he declined to identify the countries. "They want to finish with the African people. This is the program. They want to colonize until up to now. If we are not careful, we will finish in one century's time." The archbishop made the comments at a celebration marking Mozambique's 43 years of independence.
An estimated 16.2 percent of Mozambique's 19 million people are believed to be HIV-positive, and 500 more people become infected each day. About 17.5 percent of Mozambicans are Catholics.
Advocates were quick to denounce Chimoio's remarks. "We've been using condoms for years now, and we still find them safe," said Marcella Mahanjane, an AIDS activist.
"Condoms are one of the best ways of getting protection against catching AIDS," said Gabe Judas, who directs the AIDS awareness theater group Tchivirika ("Hard Work"). "People must use condoms as it's a safe way of having sex without catching AIDS."
Mozambique Archbishop Chimoio's Comments Claiming European-Made Condoms, Antiretrovirals Tainted With HIV "Baseless," Editorial Says
HIV/AIDS Programs' Limited Time Spans, Other Issues Hinder Efforts to Curb Disease in Mozambique, Official Says
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.