Pope changes position; condoms now okay to stop AIDS

Sat. November 20, 2010 11:26 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

Vatican City - In a new book to be published this week, Pope Benedict takes a radically different stance on whether it's okay to use condoms to stop the spread of AIDS.

For years, the Catholic Church has pushed abstinence and fidelity as the only ways to stop HIV/AIDS. And last year, on his way to a conference in Africa, the Pope said that he believed condoms were actually increasing the numbers of HIV infections.

However, in the new book "Light of the World," the Pope softens his stance. Depending on the translation, he said the Church now will teach that it's okay for male prostitutes or all prostitutes to use condoms.

"[The Catholic Church] of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more humane way, of living sexuality," he said.

The Pope also refers to a common HIV educational phrase, "ABC" (abstinence/be faithful/condoms), in the discussion.

The comments on condoms were made to the German author of the book over the course of several interviews and are not disputed by the Vatican.