Benedict’s Comments On Condoms Draw Reaction

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Benedict’s comments on condoms and AIDS are stirring up a bit of controversy, even before he starts his seven-day trip to Africa.

Earlier today, he said distributing condoms isn’t the best way to fight the spread of AIDS in Africa. He says doing so could actually increase the problem.

Benedict has never directly addressed condom use before. The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease.

A director with the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa says the pope’s stance shows religious dogma is “more important to him than the lives of Africans.” She adds that, while condoms aren’t the only answer to the AIDS epidemic, they’re one of the few prevention measures that work.

Even some priests and nuns working with those living with HIV question the church’s opposition to condoms amid the pandemic ravaging Africa.