God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Leaving Rio de Janeiro

Wow, what for a city and after Salvador da Bahia and other Brazilian places one gets really in the mood of Samba and a seemingly easy lifestyle. The visit in the first favela settlement on the mountain of “providencia” in Rio reminded us going into the “slum” that life conditions can be harsh. Like everywhere broken promises of politicians, false or disappointed hopes of a better life and an unbelievable strong sense for religion partnering the life of those at the margins of society. And amazing for me as a priest the combination of old African religion and Christianity – syncretism in the highest form but seemingly tolerated in society or at least ignored by those preaching the gospel in various official churches as we know them around the world. A real rainbow nation and if South Africa can learn from Brazil as a BRICS country then it is to live and let live the different cultures and traditions in a way worth a rainbow nation. And on the HIV/AIDS front Brazil learned quick that antiretrovirals are the better option than the African potato and that a network of care and the production and service delivery for all affected and infected including proper medication is a must. Of course, there are also similarities – time management, improvisation on the highest level with often a good result, crime in various cities, corruption on all levels of society, a brutal gap between rich and poor – there is room for joined ventures which would benefit both countries. For me the visit was a real enrichment – the various encounters will stay with me and I know already that this will not be the last visit in this huge country. Travelling the world means to learn a lot – but often there is nobody home who wants to listen to what one has experienced. We are all to busy with our own affairs. How much do I wish that all would have the opportunity to see what I have seen alone in the last 7 days. But that remains a dream – but with social media like Facebook and others one can at least share a glimpse of the colourful reality of the world around us and take this as a starting point for more attentive discussion how other countries manage their affairs and how we in South Africa can benefit from it.

Filed under: General, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , ,

19.10.2009 news in between: Condoms are not reliable in fight against HIV, says African cardinal

It just crossed my laptop screen while in Rome and I want to share it without further comment:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) : Condoms are not always effective in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, said Cardinal Peter Turkson of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Abstinence, fidelity in marriage and universal access to antiretroviral drugs are the strategies the church continues to promote in the fight against AIDS, he said. The cardinal, who Cardinal Turkson  copyright CNSwill turn 61 Oct. 11, made the comments during a Vatican press conference Oct. 5, presenting some of the issues to be discussed during the second special Synod of Bishops for Africa. Cardinal Turkson was asked about the AIDS epidemic in Africa and what position the synod will take, specifically concerning the use of condoms in HIV prevention. He said when “people propose the use of condoms it becomes effective only in families where they are going to be faithful.” However, condoms give “people a false sense of security, which rather facilitates the spread of HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Condoms cannot be relied upon to provide 100-percent protection against HIV transmission because “there are condoms which arrive in Ghana, which in the heat and whatever burst during sex,” he said. Because there is always a chance condoms might break during sexual intimacy, he is reluctant to recommend condom use even to married couples in which one partner is affected with HIV, he said. The priorities for African bishops at the synod will remain “abstinence and loyalty and fidelity” within marriage, he said. During pastoral counseling, he said he presents the issues and discusses them with the person seeking advice, which “allows the person to decide, to (make) his own decision.” He said he does not “undervalue the possibility that somebody who has AIDS recognizes his own Christian commitment (and) would simply just decide to refrain from sex,” even if he or she were in a faithful marriage, in order to prevent the spread of HIV. “Some would in such a situation have advised the use of condoms by a partner who has HIV so that it doesn’t spread, but again, in our part of the world, even the use of condoms is sometimes risky,” he said.

“If we have proper, top quality condoms, then one can probably with certainty speak about” the effectiveness of an infected partner using condoms, “but that is also not the case” in Ghana, he said. Cardinal Turkson said he would rather see the resources spent on manufacturing and providing prophylactics to Africa be earmarked for subsidizing antiretroviral drugs for the people there. “Let us use those resources to support the production of antiretroviral drugs so (they) would be more available to people,” he said. “That’s probably the big favor that we can do for the people suffering from HIV/AIDS.”

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Categories

Follow God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE on WordPress.com

15th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 31st, 2020
4 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2021

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 15th, 2021
11 months to go.

You can share this blog in many ways..

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,059 other followers

Translation – Deutsch? Française? Espanol? …

The translation button is located on each single blog page, Copy the text, click the button and paste it for instant translation:
Website Translation Widget

or for the translation of the front page:

* Click for Translation

Copyright

© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This not withstanding the following applies:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: