HIV and condoms within marriage.
Communio: International Catholic Review, Summer.
In this essay I revisit the issue of whether an agency or a professional, including doctors, nurses, pastors, counselors and educators, may assist the condomizing of intercourse – as I will call it for short – in order to reduce HIV transmission within marriage. There are parallel but also distinct arguments to be made outside of marriage, e.g. in homosexual intercourse. There are also many ways to ‘assist’. Most Catholic agencies will not actually distribute condoms. But may they take part in an ‘ABC’ program which promotes ‘A’ for Abstinence, ‘B’ for Be Faithful to one’s spouse (what I call ‘B+’) or at least to one partner (what I call ‘B–’), but which also encourages ‘C’ for Condoms, especially as ‘a last resort’ or ‘the lesser of two evils’? Is this co-operation in evil and, if so, is it permissible? Might an agency or individual at least provide ‘scientific’ information about the use and benefits of condoms HIV-discordant couples, i.e. married couples only one of whom is HIV+?