Archbishop encourages 'sexual responsibility' to combat AIDS in El Salvador


With many AIDS prevention campaigns relying solely on condom use, Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador has asked the government to promote “sexual responsibility” as the most effect form of preventing the spread of the disease.

“Certain international agencies are regularly promoting campaigns encouraging condom use, but not even one study exists which proves its effectiveness against this disease,” the archbishop explained in a dialogue with the press.

Archbishop Escobar noted that, “in the African countries where they have distributed the most prophylactics, the virus has spread the most.” Therefore, he recommended programs which emphasize “fidelity between spouses, and abstinence between singles.”

“It is the life lived in accordance to that which is moral which really combats the disease,” the prelate stated. He also noted that the campaigns which emphasize condom use “may provoke greater premature sexual activity.”

“It has been shown that condoms do not offer complete security against the transmission of the virus while experts acknowledge that condoms fail more than 20% of the time.” The archbishop recalled that the Catholic Church insists that “the prevention of AIDS requires the responsibility of the carriers, that the youth postpone their sexual relations, that couples remain faithful to each other, and that dangerous or immoral habits must be changed.”

Official statistics state that 22,210 cases of AIDS have been reported in El Salvador since 1984.

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