Is it obligatory to use a condom when one of the spouses has AIDS?

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Truth be told, if one of the two spouses suffers from AIDS, using a condom is essential, but if one does not know, the most important thing to do is undergo the appropriate tests. As for having children, if it’s the man who suffers from the disease, procreation is possible through artificial insemination of the woman using a technique that allows inseminating the woman without transmitting the disease to the wife. To summarize: if one of the spouses has AIDS, isn’t the use of condoms mandatory?


With all respect:

1. This is not the moral doctrine of the Church. Using a condom is always an act that is: a) contraceptive; b) anti-conjugal. The doctrine of Humanae Vitae is definitive, irreformable, and not subject to discussion. Marriage must always remain open to procreation, regardless of the health or illness of the spouses. I have already indicated this in previous articles.

2. I would add that the apparent respect for the other spouse’s health is also false. An HIV-AIDS-positive spouse does not avoid infecting his or her healthy spouse by using a condom. If you think so, you are wrong from a medical perspective. Hence, if you truly love your spouse, you would avoid exposing them to a kind of sexual Russian roulette.

The best way to verify the safety of condoms is to study the frequency of virus transmission among “HIV-discordant” heterosexual couples, i.e., where only one partner is zero-positive. “Results of HIV transmission studies indicate that condoms may reduce risk of HIV infection by [only] approximately 69%” (Susan C. Weller, A Meta-Analysis of Condom Effectiveness in reducing sexually transmitted HIV, 1993). “In other words, in 31% of cases, there is a real danger of contracting AIDS; … Therefore, Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan, sexologist and director of the ‘Human Sexuality Program’ at Cornell University Medical Center in New York, believes that ‘counting on condoms is flirting with death.’”

“Dr. Lelkens states that the cause of AIDS is to be found in the Acquired Integrity Deficiency Syndrome,” that is, in the loss of moral integrity brought about by the ideology of sexual freedom. “Whoever does not understand it this way, or does not want to understand it, should at least know that condoms offer as much security as the drum of a revolver in Russian roulette” (“The condom does not always preserve,” in EUROPE TODAY, Brussels, Belgium, No. 138, 22-XI-94, pp. 4 and 5).

So, it can be said that the condom is like a Bungee Jump that fails in one out of every four jumps. Some reality will be indicated [should set in] when special gloves are used, or double gloves, when caring for patients infected with this disease. If this is done with surgeon’s gloves to protect the surgeon and the patient, how can we expect to offer the same safety in a condom that is intended for maximum sensitivity?

To love is to want the good. To want the good implies renouncing many things.

Fr. Miguel A. Fuentes, IVE

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Other post: Do contraceptives have side effects?

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