Monday, December 04, 2006

Blair, religion and HIV/Aids.

Oh dear, I have a confession. I have just read something Blair has said and agreed:

Tony Blair has said the scale of the Aids problem meant religious leaders needed to end their ban on condoms.
To mark World Aids Day, Mr Blair said religious leaders needed to "face up to reality" and drop bans on condoms to help protect health.
Asked on MTV whether the Vatican's ban on condoms was hampering the fight against Aids and HIV, he said: "I think if all the churches and religious organisations were facing up to reality it would be better."

Mr Blair said on Friday that he feared a blanket ban coming from religious leaders would discourage people from using condoms in "certain circumstances where they need to - to protect their own lives".

The response from the Catholic Church :

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales says money used to send condoms to Africa should be spent on drugs for Aids treatment.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said it would be "much better" if the cash was spent on antiretroviral drugs.
He said African bishops had spoken of dioceses being "flooded" with condoms which had led to "more promiscuity".

It should not be either or, condoms have a preventative role to play. Both drugs and condoms are needed.

He adds :

"The way to combat Aids is primarily, as everybody should know, behaviourally - keeping monogamous relationships between a man and a woman."

Lets live in the real world . If we want to prevent the transmission of HIV/Aids we need to work with human behaviour, which is not always monogamous . People do not tend to have one relationship for life. He also seems, to conveniently, ignore the message that its about risky behaviour not groups. Hence 'man and a woman'.

But hey, even married couples aren't given any slack at the moment :

But he said Pope Benedict XVI had commissioned a report looking into allowing the use of condoms by married couples where one partner is affected by HIV or Aids.

So are they supposed to practice abstinence or risk having a child with HIV/Aids ? I'm sorry but that's heartless and lacking any compassion .

I now expect a lecture on the merits of abstinence, possibly from those who do not practice what they preach.