The papal position on condoms and HIV: It would be a blessing if Benedict XVI could stop advocating policies that endanger the health of some of the world’s neediest people
Yankee Doodling column
Kamerow, D. (2009). The papal position on condoms and HIV: It would be a blessing if Benedict XVI could stop advocating policies that endanger the health of some of the world’s neediest people: Yankee Doodling column. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 338(7697), b1217. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1217
When I was aged 6 or so I used to go through my father’s top dresser drawer looking for pennies. One day I found a strange rubber balloon wrapped in foil. I didn’t know what it was and didn’t recognise the big word printed on the outside of the wrapper: "prophylactic" (this was the genteel 1950s). An inquisitive child, I looked it up in the dictionary and found out that the word meant "acting to defend or prevent something, especially a disease." I idly wondered what disease my father was trying to prevent with this balloon but soon lost interest.
I thought of this memory when I read about Pope Benedict XVI’s recent comments about the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission (BMJ 2009;338:b1206, doi:10.1136/bmj.b1206). As I write this, news accounts of his recent trip to Africa have been dominated by reactions to comments he made . . .