Last month, the BHA wrote to the Government about the Pope’s dangerous and irresponsible comments that the distribution of condoms will aggravate the problems of HIV/AIDs in Africa and elsewhere.
We received a reply from Ivan Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (DfID), which makes clear that the Government opposes views such as those espoused by the Vatican and states that ‘condom use has a critical role to play in a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention’, and the need for strategies informed by evidence and grounded in human rights.
Mr Lewis wrote, ‘The British Government firmly believes that we must always keep in mind the reality of people’s lives: people have sex and they should not face unwanted pregnancies or preventable diseases, including HIV, as a result and should be given the choice to be able to use modern contraceptives and condoms.’
He added that the Government has ‘taken every opportunity in various meetings with the Vatican over the years to make clear that, based on proven evidence, [the Government has] a different opinion on issues of HIV prevention and condom use.’
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing the interests of the large and growing population of ethically concerned non-religious people living in the UK. It exists to support and represent such people, who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.