Campaign against ban on condoms in Kenya

Posted: 3 October 2002

Nairobi is set to see public advertisements on billboards and in newspapers condemning the Catholic Church's ban on the use of condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The advertisements, bearing the message "Banning Condoms Kills", are part of a campaign dubbed "Condoms Life" organised by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), an advocacy organisation of Catholics who are opposed to the Vatican's stand on condoms.

They will also place the billboards in prominent locations in the town with the message "Catholic People Care - Do our Bishops?"

Frances Kissling, CFFC's president, said that this unprecedented worldwide public education effort is aimed at Catholics and non Catholics alike to raise awareness about the devastating effects of the ban on condoms. "The Vatican and the bishops bear significant responsibility for the deaths of thousands of people who have died from Aids," Kissling said.

Mr Peter Piot, United Nation's Aids (UNAIDS) director observed that the church's stand against contraception was a serious mistake, "We are not asking the church to promote the use of contraceptives but merely to stop banning its use," Piot said.

Other countries targeted in the campaign include Brussels, Cape Town, Harare, La Paz Santiago, Mexico City and Manila which have large Catholic populations. The initial phase of the Condoms Life campaign started in November in Washington DC.

Sources: IPPF, and East African Standard, 27 December 2001.