Catholic opposition to condom use as an AIDS preventive in Africa took a bizarre turn yesterday when a respected archbishop in Mozambique charged that condoms imported from Europe had been deliberately infected with HIV. Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio made his comments at an Independence Day celebration and reiterated them to the BBC.
Condom companies, he said, "want to finish with the African people" and "want to colonize" the continent. He refused to name the countries he suspected of the plot to kill Africans, and reiterated the church's position that the best way to fight the spread of AIDS is by encouraging fidelity and abstinence. Chimono's remarks infuriated anti-AIDS campaigners. One in six Mozambicans is HIV-positive.