Volume > Issue > The Cure for AIDS: An Epidemic of Chastity

The Cure for AIDS: An Epidemic of Chastity

CONDUCT, NOT CONDOMS

By Anthony Zimmerman | January 1999
Fr. Anthony Zimmerman is Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan. A member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, and the Japan Society of Demographers, he has been a priest for over 50 years.

As the proverb says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. AIDS is currently incurable, so how can we prevent the spread of AIDS and eventually eliminate it from the human race?

“To insist on the condom is pure illusion,” wrote Dr. Ntari Benoit from Brazzaville in the Congo in 1997, because this approach sends the false message that it’s “unnecessary to modify one’s sexual behavior, the primary cause of infection.” Dr. Benoit went on: “To change behavior and transform mentalities is fundamental; the longer we wait to act, the greater the risk is that it will be too late….”

There are no vaccines, continued Dr. Benoit, and medicines to relieve the sufferings are not within the reach of the Congolese. Education in chastity must begin with the youngest, Dr. Benoit added, “since for most of our secondary school students it may already be too late.” The Archdiocese of Brazzaville has instituted a comprehensive program, and the Church throughout the world is similarly challenged with a most serious mission: to modify human behavior as the most effective — and perhaps the only — way to halt the spread of pandemic HIV/AIDS. Several African countries exemplify the need.

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