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Pope Benedict XVI provoked outrage amongst health officials last week when he stated that condoms were not the answer to Africa’s fight against HIV and Aids, and could even worsen the problem. His comments came during the Pope’s first visit to Africa, highlighting the Catholic Church’s controversial stance which places a strong emphasis on sexual abstinence and fidelity to prevent the spread of disease. Professor Susan Wood, co-chair of the advisory committee for women’s health, has indicated that the Obama administration is likely to reverse many of the Bush-era policies requiring abstinence-only sexual education programs, focusing instead on “what works, what helps prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality, prevent the spread of disease,” according to the Medical News Today website.

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