Vatican, Mar 18: Pope Benedict XVI said distributing condoms alone will not solve the menace of AIDS in Africa. "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope said aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon. "On the contrary, it increases the problem." This is the first time Pope uttered the word 'condom' publicly.
Pope's comment has irked the healthcare workers across world. The solution lies in a 'spiritual and human awakening' and 'friendship for those who suffer,' said Benedict, who is on his maiden visit to the African continent. Pope who never outspoke on condom use although stressed that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS and said abstinence from sex is better to fight the deadly disease.
Across the world about 33 million people are affected with AIDS of which more than 27 million live in Africa. AIDS which emerged in the 1980s have killed nearly 25 million people in the continent alone. Pope is also expected to make an appeal to international community to help Africa, which is crucial for Vatican because of its growing number of Roman Catholics.