Condom plot, says African bishop1st October 2007
The Catholic archbishop of Mozambique has said he believes some condoms are being deliberately infected with HIV as a part of a colonialist plot on the part of the European manufacturers.
The remarks have drawn strong concern from AIDS activists, as they appear to bolster the official anti-contraceptive stance of the the Catholic Church.
Condoms to date have been shown to be the most effective barrier to the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio also said he thought some anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) were similarly deliberately infected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says ARVs do not constitute a cure for HIV/AIDS, but are an extremely effective form of treatment for those living with the virus.
Around 16.2% of Mozambique's 19 million inhabitants are thought to be HIV positive, with about 500 new infections a day in the country.
And 17.5% of Mozambicans are Catholic.
AIDS activist Marcella Mahanjane said condoms had been shown to be effective over many years in the country.
Chimoio said that abstention was a better way to prevent the transmission of AIDS than condoms.
"Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose," he told the BBC, refusing to name the countries.
"They want to finish with the African people. This is the programme. They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century's time."
The archbishop is well regarded in Mozambique, and the Catholic Church played a leading role in a 1992 peace deal that ended a civil war which had torn the country apart over 16 years.
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Title: Condom plot, says African bishop
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 4229
Date Added: 1st Oct 2007