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Pope Encourages Abstinence to Prevent AIDS

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In addressing the pandemic of AIDS this month, while on his way to Cameroon, a small country in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said, "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms, on the contrary, it increases the problem." On the contrary, UNAIDS maintains the condom is the "single, most efficient available technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV."

All of this comes to light with the recent release of figures showing that HIV and AIDS cases in the nation's capital jumped 22% from 2006 to 2008. This means that 3% of the residents of Washington D.C. are now living with HIV or AIDS. These rates happen to be on par with Uganda and certain parts of Kenya, according to Shannon Hader, director of the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration.

On another front, in Columbia, South Carolina, a Baptist and Methodist minister jointly wrote an opinion piece for the The (Columbia, S.C.) State recently, in which they stated, although abstinence comprises the best behavior, their state, however, is at the top 10 for "such sexually transmitted infections." The two pastors participated in Project F.A.I.T.H. (Fostering AIDS Initiatives That Heal.) No mention of condoms was made by the ministers.

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