European-Made Condoms, Antiretrovirals Tainted With HIV

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Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, the head of the Roman Catholic Church inMozambique, on Wednesday said that two European countries aremanufacturing condoms that deliberately have been tainted with HIV aspart of a plan to "colonize the continent," Reutersreports. Chimoio declined to name the countries or identify the sourceof the allegations. In addition, Chimoio said that some pharmaceuticalcompanies are manufacturing antiretroviral drugs that are tainted withthe virus "in order to finish quickly the African people" (Mangwiro, Reuters, 9/26).

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Chimoiosaid that abstinence is the best way to prevent HIV. He added that a"new mentality" is necessary to fight HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. "It meansmarriage, people being faithful to their wives ... (and) young peoplemust be abstaining from sexual relations," Chimoio said.

Chimoio's comments have upset some HIV/AIDS advocates, BBC Newsreports. "We've been using condoms for years now, and we still findthem safe," Marcella Mahanjane, a Mozambican HIV/AIDS advocate, said.Gabe Judas -- director of Tchivirika, a drama group that promotesawareness about HIV/AIDS -- said that condoms are "one of the best waysof getting protection against" HIV/AIDS.

According to BBC News, about 17.5% of Mozambicans are Catholic (BBC News, 9/26). According to London's Guardian,Chimoio is "widely respected" in Mozambique, in part because of hiswork as a mediator during a 16-year civil war, which ended in 1992(McGreal, Guardian, 9/27). More than 16% of the 19million people living in Mozambique are HIV-positive, and about 500 newcases are recorded daily, Reuters reports (Reuters, 9/26).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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