Religious leaders urged not to oppose condom use
Thursday 1 April 2004
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BURUNDI: Religious leaders urged not to oppose condom use

BUJUMBURA, 24 September (PLUSNEWS) - The Burundi government and civil society groups have urged church leaders not to oppose the use of condoms as a means of protection against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The spread of AIDS has continued to increase despite the position adopted by religious leaders, which recommend sexual abstinence for the unmarried and marital fidelity to couples, the principal private secretary in the Office of the President in charge of AIDS Control, Sylvain Ndayikengurukiye, told PlusNews. "Now we are asking them at least not to oppose our recommendation in favour of the use of condoms."

Official sources say about 8 percent of Burundians - 20.5 percent of the urban population and
7.5 percent in the rural area - are HIV positive.

A recent workshop convened by the National Council for the Fight against AIDS and the National Programme Against AIDS Support Project - which brought together Catholic, Protestant and Muslim leaders - reached several agreements.

These included agreement that meetings between religious organisations should discuss conveying joint messages to Burundians, that a sex education programme should be developed, that all means of AIDS prevention including condoms should be promoted, and that a permanent framework for consultation between religious organisations and civil society should be established.

The government ministry in charge of HIV-AIDS planned to organise further meetings to develop the plans, Ndayikengurukiye told IRIN. However, he acknowledged there was still a long way to go before the condom message would be absorbed by religious leaders. "Some are ready to discuss the issue, others seem not ready to move an inch," he said.

"It would help us if they [church leaders] assisted us in educating people in the fight against AIDS," he added.


[ENDS]

Recent BURUNDI Reports

Medical personnel trained on prevention of mother-to-child HIV infection, 30/Mar/04
First lady launches HIV/AIDS initiative, 17/Mar/04
Germany gives 7.5 million for water, refugees, HIV/AIDS control, 17/Feb/04
HIV-positive civil servants to pay 20 percent for ARVs, 23/Dec/03
Women wake up to HIV/AIDS, 25/Nov/03

Links

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
AEGIS
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.

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  • Health Systems Trust

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