The head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, claims that some European-made condoms—in addition to some antiretroviral drugs—are deliberately contaminated with HIV “in order to finish quickly the African people.”

His statements have outraged AIDS activists, who fear his words may influence people in Mozambique to avoid condoms altogether.

Chimoio made his inflammatory statements during recent celebrations marking 33 years of his country’s independence. While he acknowledges that AIDS is a serious issue, he says that the only way to prevent the spread of the disease among unmarried populations is to abstain from sex altogether.

Almost 18 percent of Mozambicans are Catholic; 16.2 percent are HIV positive.