Simon Caldwell reports:

Millions of people are dying from Aids because western governments will not accept that condoms are ineffective in curbing the spread of the disease, a forthcoming report by the Catholic Church claims.

Evidence shows that rates of infection have risen most sharply in those countries which have been flooded with condoms, says the report, because they encourage promiscuity. But rates have fallen in the few places that have encouraged monogamy and fidelity among married couples, it says.

The report, The Catholic Church and the Global Aids Crisis, cites research estimating that if, instead of condoms, fidelity and abstinence were promoted across sub-Saharan Africa some six million new infections would have been averted in less than a decade, with four million fewer Aids orphans created. Such programmes might have saved 3.2 million lives in South Africa alone from 2000 to 2010, and prevented 80 per cent of HIV infections in the hardest hit areas of the continent, the report says.

“The overwhelming body of epidemiological evidence tells us that we have very little to show for all the investments in risk reduction measures, despite assurances that they were the indispensible solution to the problem,” said the author, Matthew Hanley, an American public health expert who has worked on HIV prevention programmes in Africa. “Many would be surprised to learn that condoms … have not delivered as promised in the fight against Aids.

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