Minister criticises pope over Aids

Dutch aid minister Bert Koenders has launched a strong attack on the pope for saying the use of condoms could endanger public health and increase the problem of HIV/Aids during a papal visit to Africa.

‘I think it is extraordinarily dangerous and serious that this pope is forbidding people to protect themselves,’ Koenders said in a statement. ‘There is an enormous stigma surrounding the subject of Aids and Aids sufferers face serious discrimination. The pope is making matters worse.’
The pope ‘is not contributing to the reduction of the Aids epidemic, ignoring the tremendous suffering that Aids causes and contributing to the enormous stigma and discrimination facing people with HIV’, Koenders said.
The French and German governments have also criticised the pope’s statement that HIV and Aids is ‘a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms – which can even increase the problem’.

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