So, the Pope is on a little trip to Africa, and just can’t resist spreading some mis-information.
Unfortunately Africa is a very poor continent, and STDs like AIDS/HIV are rife. The two most effective methods of combating AIDS/HIV are abstinence and condoms. Guess which the Catholic Church thinks works? Sex is good, sex is fun, sex is completely natural. People always have had, and will continue to have recreational sex, and long may that practise continue.
This does however lead to the spreading of STDs, which takes a terrible toll on the populations of the various sub-Saharan countries. Therefore the only effective method to try and to bring this under control is to encourage the use of condoms. Various health agencies (including the UN) have instigated programs to distribute free condoms in Africa, but it appears to be too early for the programs to show any effect.
The thing is, the Catholic Church actually claim that the use of condoms might actually make matters worse! Reading through that article some of what they say does make sense (shock, horror, I’m agreeing with the Catholics!), but I doubt it’s as simple as they are making out. Like any big problem, it is highly unlikely that there is a single, simple, solution. The problem of AIDS/HIV in Africa needs a many pronged approach. Education has to be high on the list, teach people about sexual health, give them the knowledge, skills, and tools to make more informed choices. Make access to barrier contraceptives easy, and make sure people are aware of their proper use. And yes, promotion of a more monogamous lifestyle won’t hurt.