Condom Use and Culture of Life: The Roman Catholic Church Dilemma in the Wake of New HIV Infections

Telesia K. Musili, Margaret Gecaga, Josephine Gitome


The World has devotedly committed to ending HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2030. However, the latest global data demonstrate among other challenges an increase in new HIV infections. In 2015 there was an increase of new HIV infections from 1.8 million to 2.4 million, an average of 2.1 million. In light of this challenge of increasing new HIV infections, a scrutiny on the effectiveness of HIV prevention strategies and measures is important. Abstinence, fidelity and condom use are among the strategies that have been lauded to prevent further transmission of HIV infections. However, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) stance and repression of condom use by her adherents bars the positive strides of preventing the spread of HIV. This paper addresses the possible grounds for review of the RCC negative stance on condom use. This is premised on the famous Pope John Paul II’s culture of life theology that upholds not only the sanctity of human life but also the intrinsic value and dignity of the human person. A phenomenological approach was employed in guiding this discourse. The following concepts illuminate this worth course. They include the primacy of subjective interiority in sexual choices, valued inter-relational sociability of human persons and pursuance of eschatological hope. In this era of HIV and AIDS, we argue for a relational eschatology rather than a punitive eschaton. This is believed to cushion a time that is permeated with relational challenges that are meant to steer the values of love and trust.

Keywords: Condom use, culture of life, HIV and AIDS, new infections, church teaching on sexuality

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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