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Church leaders back condom use

By Vision Reporter

Added 31st August 2009 03:00 AM

CLERGY involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS want religious sects to encourage the use of condoms for those who cannot abstain as a measure to curb the increasing spread of the pandemic.

CLERGY involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS want religious sects to encourage the use of condoms for those who cannot abstain as a measure to curb the increasing spread of the pandemic.

By John Semakula

CLERGY involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS want religious sects to encourage the use of condoms for those who cannot abstain as a measure to curb the increasing spread of the pandemic.

The clergy made their stand on Thursday at the closure of a four-day conference on “The global race to save lives from HIV and AIDS” at Colline Hotel, Mukono.

The Rt. Rev. Wilson Mutebi said: “HIV/AIDS has continued to devastate our societies even as we preach abstinence and loyalty; it is time we advised those who cannot abstain to use condoms.”

Mutebi, who was the chairman of the working group on Faith, Stigma, Shame, Denial, Discrimination, Inaction and Mis-action (SSDDIM) at the conference, observed that infecting others with HIV/AIDS is like committing murder and adultery before God.

He, however, said the use of condoms may reduce the two sins of adultery and murder to only adultery if the condom is used well and HIV is not passed on to others.

Most of the religious sects are opposed to the use of condom in the prevention of HIV on grounds that it promotes adultery.

The Rev. Can. Gideon Baguma Byamugisha, the first practicing religious leader in Africa to break the silence when he declared that he was HIV-positive in 1992, said there was no reason why people should die when their lives could be saved through the use of condoms.

The conference resolved to train about 15,000 religious leaders in each country to spearhead the anti-AIDS gospel in their countries.

The guest of honour, Alfath Mukhtar Muhammed, asked the participants to encourage the local congregations to participate in the anti-AIDS programmes.

Mr. Muhammad is also the general director of the Sudan’s ministry of guidance and endowment.

The conference drew participants from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Ireland and the US.

The theme of the conference was, “Multiplying anti SSDDIM and pro-SAVE focused leadership in the faith sector for comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment and impact mitigation.”

Next year’s conference will be held in Malawi.

Church leaders back condom use

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