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Roman Catholic Anti-Condom Dogma
said to Kill

Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report

Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., 'Condemns' Catholics for a Free Choice Ad Campaign Criticizing Bishops' Stance on Condom Use

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has "condemned as 'false and misleading'" an international ad campaign criticizing Catholic bishops' stance on condom use and has issued an "advocacy alert" urging parishioners to contact public transportation officials and politicians in regard to the ads, the Washington Post reports (Broadway Washington Post, 1/3).

The ad campaign, sponsored by Catholics for a Free Choice, was launched in Washington in late November and features billboards and ads in subway cars and bus shelters with the slogan "Banning Condoms Kills."
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

The campaign, which "accus[es]" Catholic bishops of aiding the spread of HIV by banning condoms, will also be launched in other U.S. cities and in countries around the world with either large Catholic populations or high rates of HIV/AIDS infection (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/2).

The ad campaign contains "false information," archdiocese spokesperson Susan Gibbs said, adding that the ads "accuse bishops of killing people when in fact the bishops advocate the only lifestyle to protect against HIV/AIDS: a lifestyle of abstinence outside a monogamous marriage." She added that while Catholic bishops oppose condom use, they "do not have the authority to 'ban' condoms."

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which runs the city's public transportation system, has received "about 25 e-mails or phone calls from people objecting to these ads," Metro spokesperson Ray Feldmann said.

Though the archdiocese argues that Metro should have refused to carry the ads because they "contain false information," Feldman said that after reviewing the ads, Metro officials found "nothing obscene, pornographic, lewd or offensive" to prevent them from running the campaign.

Metro officials control only advertisements on buses and trains and in Metrorail stations. The U.S. Department of Transportation, which controls the advertising in Washington, D.C.-area bus shelters, will not approve any advertising that is "blatantly untruthful or false," Alex Eckmann, office of mass transit administrator, said, but he added that the ads submitted by Catholics for a Free Choice "fell within the department's guidelines" (Washington Post, 1/3).
Chinese Public Health Officials Angered Over Clinical Trial of Male Contraceptive Injection, Fear Will Decrease Condom Use

Public health officials in the Chinese city of Guangzhou have "reacted angrily" to reports that the Guangzhou Family Planning Department is holding clinical trials of a contraceptive injection for men that they are touting as an "alternative to condoms," fearing that the birth control method may decrease condom use and lead to an increase in sexually transmitted disease rates, the South China Morning Post reports.

Family planning officials said that the "TU" contraceptive, which inhibits a man's ability to produce sperm, is safe, 98% effective and is "almost as inexpensive as using condoms." Men resume normal sperm production soon after stopping the injections. "By 2005, you could just go to your family planning center once a month and not have to use a condom for birth control," Wu Weixiong, a deputy of Guangzhou's Family Planning Scientific Technology Research Institute, which developed the injection, told the China News Service.

The claims "shocked" public health officials in Guangdong province, which accounts for 18% of China's total STD cases and is home to an estimated 20,000 people with HIV. An official in charge of STD prevention at the Guangzhou Health Department said that the family planning commission "can do all the clinical trials it likes, but I can promise you the government would never approve a plan allowing injections to be given in place of condoms" (South China Morning Post, 1/1).
This summary is from the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report provided by, a free health policy news summary and webcasting service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for by National Journal Group Inc. © 2001 by National Journal Group Inc. and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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