It is simply a myth to suggest, as did singer Annie Lennox (your report, 19 August), that the HIV/Aids problem is linked to Catholicism. Blaming the Church for a problem in countries where more than 90 per cent of the citizens are not Catholic is not only ludicrous but also disingenuous.
Six of the worst-affected countries in the world (Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa) contain a total Catholic population of only 8 per cent.
In some of these countries HIV/Aids has been recorded as infecting 33 per cent of the population. Suggesting the Church is somehow pivotal or culpable in parts of the world with so few Catholics is also ludicrous.
In citing condom distribution as part of the problem, the Pope is backed by all empirical evidence.
It is to be hoped that in time facts will triumph over ideology. Until then the Church will continue to offer compassion and much-needed care to all those suffering from this terrible disease.
Scottish Catholic Media Office
St Vincent Place
Mary Bell is being disingenuous about condoms and HIV (Letters, 21 August). Dr Edward Green, whom she selectively quotes, says there is no evidence that condom use leads to an increase in HIV rates, but rather that condom promotion on its own may.
In interviews and articles he has explained that part of the problem is getting people to use them, and part was an increase in risky behaviour such as having multiple sexual partners, although whether condoms really increase such behaviour has been disputed.
Where condoms are actually used, as in south-east Asian brothels, they work. But they work best as part of the "ABC" approach favoured by Dr Green: Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms.
Mrs Bell also omits to mention whether or not countries promoting abstinence and seeing success are using the "ABC" approach, with condoms as a back-up.
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