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Catholic Church unveils controversial anti-condom billboard


By BONIFACE MWANGI

The Catholic Church has started a campaign against use of condoms barely a week after Pope Francis visited Kenya.

Through its Human Life International (HLI), the church has put up a billboard at the Nyeri Whisper’s Park written in bold ‘Faithful Condom user-‘one out of 12 condoms fail’.

The message argues that use of condoms cannot  prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.

HLI describes itself as a Catholic apostolate working to protect life and family through education, outreach, advocacy and service.

The  campaign is likely to provoke a fierce debate between anti-HIV/Aids activists and the Church. It also comes at a time when Pope Francis termed the issue as a difficult one especially in the wake of rising HIV and population rates.

At the same time, the Church notes that usage of condom is not the best way to stop spreading of the deadly diseases that has seen more youths get infected.

At the same time the Catholic Church is opposing the advertising of condoms in all the media platforms, noting that they are always misleading and encouraging the youths to engage in sexual activities before marriage.

“The advertising of condoms on TV and billboards along the major highways is not healthy for the young generation, these kind of adverts are always misleading the youth,” said Simon Muriithi, the programme manager at the Natural Family Clinic in Nyeri which is under the Human Life International.

ABSTAIN FROM SEX

According to a research conducted by Contraceptive Technology firm, based in USA, one out of 12 condoms fail.

“Even family planning people who use the book from the Contraceptive Technology as their bible, know too well that condoms are not safe and if you line up 12 faithful condom users, one will have to fail. The more reason we are against this kind of contraceptive,” Mr Muriithi said.

Mr Muriithi said nearly in all anti HIV/Aids rallies, people are asked to use condoms if they can’t abstain from sex. This, he said, has led to many youths indulging in sex as well as encouraging couples to have extra-marital affairs.

Mr Muriithi said the best way to prevent the spread of this disease is to abstain from sex for those not married and to practice family planning for those people who are married is to stick to one partner.

Mr Muriithi said a faithful condom user will one day one realise it has backfired on him or her.

He also noted that the latex that is used to manufacture condoms have been found to have pores that might allow the HIV virus pass through.

“Even if the woman uses the female condom faithfully and a man uses the male condom faithfully, one day it will go against their wish,” he added.

UNBIBLICAL PRACTICE

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) said during the celebrations to mark this year’s World Aids Day that there are approximately 88,620 new HIV infections among adults, 50,530 among women and 38,090 among men while 12,940 new HIV cases were reported among children.

However, UNAIDS report also revealed that the disease is spreading more among the youth.

The Catholic Church has been advocating use of natural methods as family planning and campaigning against the use of contraceptives, terming them as unbiblical.

“When God created man, he gave him a natural way to control birth and that is by the count of days using ones menstrual cycle,” said Mr Muriithi.

According to Mr Muriithi, they have been able to convince more than 8,000 couples from the former larger Nyeri Archdiocese to use natural family planning method.

The Nyeri Archdiocese priest in charge of Health, Fr Peter Githinji, said the Church advocates natural method of family planning because human diginity is respected.

“When you use a condom, you are not being natural. But medically it has even been proven that the rubber latex has micro pores that can allow the virus to pass through,” Fr Githinji said.