Contraception in a marriage when one of the persons has AIDS


What is the church’s position with regards to using contraception if one of the persons in the marriage has AIDS? For example, in Africa where in some countries more than 50 percent of the poplulation has AIDS, there are many couples where the husband or wife has AIDS. If the male has AIDS, is it okay from the church’s perspective that the husband use a condom to prevent the transmittal of AIDS to his wife?


The Church does not allow a couple to engage in contraceptive sex for any reason. If a spouse has a sexually-transmittable disease such as AIDS, the spouses may refrain from marital relations altogether (especially considering that AIDS is also transmittable from mother to unborn child), but they cannot use condoms.

Even if the Church didn’t forbid their use, condoms do not provide for “safe” sexual relations with AIDS-sufferers anyway. In 2003 the United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS) published findings that condoms fail to protect against AIDS in 10 percent of cases. If you were preparing to leap from a high-rise platform and the jump master told you that your bungee cord had a one-in-ten failure rate, would you jump? Analogously, if you were preparing for sexual relations with someone who had AIDS and were told that there was a one-in-ten failure rate for the condom you were depending on to protect your life, would you trust that condom to protect you?

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