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June 20, 2008

Minister Says Condoms and Churches Needed to Fight AIDS

HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts must include condoms and support from faith-based organizations, retired Lutheran minister Rev. Guenter Apsel says in an Orlando Sentinel opinion piece (orlandosentinel.com, 6/18). Apsel says that churches must acknowledge the role they have played in contributing to the spread of HIV “as the result of taboos, stigma and denial.”

Apsel’s commentary responds to an essay by Catholic Bishop Thomas G. Wenski, also printed in the Sentinel. According to Apsel, Wenski advocated for programs that emphasize “abstinence and being faithful” but not condom use. “One must add condom use. Otherwise you put a doctrine above the goal to ‘save lives,’ Apsel writes.


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