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AIDS Group Still Promoting Condom Use

In October of 2003 DCRTL visited The Catskill Rural AIDS Services' (CRAS) website at to see if CRAS was still promoting condoms as the information below shows it was some years before. DCRTL saved one of the pages of this site in October 2003 as a pdf file and as a htm file. The page clearly states, at the bottom, "We have condoms, dental dams and other HIV prevention supplies." To find out why such condom promotion is deadly view a research overview by American Life League's Ed Szymkowiak entitled The Flawed Condom.

(* The information below was current as of June/July 1998. However, a visit to the same website a year later, 7/6/99, indicated that CRAS was still promoting condom use. )

The Catskill Rural AIDS Services (CRAS) referenced an association with the Delaware County AIDS Task Force (DCATF). In 1995 Delaware County Right to Life vigorously opposed a graphic "safe-sex" condom kit being distributed by DCATF.

A copy of CRAS' webpage of 7/3/98 ( which was updated on 6/25/98 was examined by DCRTL. CRAS did promote condom use on its webpage stating clearly therein, "We have condoms if you need them."

Furthermore CRAS' 7/3/98 webpage contained direct links to :

1) AEGIS Library, which, under the category of "prevention," subcategory "Avoiding HIV Infection," contained explicit "Safer Sex" recommendations similar to the objectionable literature opposed by DCRTL in 1995.

2) Marty Howard's HIV/AIDS Home Page, which contained the graphic he called "AIDS Ribbon Under Latex," the red ribbon inside an erect condom.

3) Beta Live, San Francisco's AIDS Foundation site which, under the "prevention" category linked to a site called Gay Life, a "celebration" of the lifestyle. Also on Beta Live, under "prevention," was an article with pictures of drag queens called "Condom Mirandas" handing out condoms in bars.

4) AIDS Bookstore, which promoted several objectionable books too numerous to detail. Among the reviews was one promoting a book called "Mind Blowing Sex in the Real World: Hot Tips for Doing It in the Age of Anxiety" by Sari Locker. The reviewer paints a picture of a book promoting "safe sex" and condom use complete with a graphic list of pro-condom sayings "that young people can relate to…"

The CRAS webpage itself stated the following:

"Known as The Delaware County AIDS Task Force since 1994, Catskill Rural AIDS Services was created by a unanimous vote of members at the Aug. 20, 1997 general meeting. At that meeting members decided to disaffiliate from our regional 8-county support organization, STAP..."

Thus CRAS is The Delaware County AIDS Task Force metamorphized, with a new name, and a still seriously flawed position on condom promotion. Furthermore, despite its disaffiliation from STAP (Southern Tier AIDS Program), CRAS was still listed by STAP in its newsletter, "The Connection," (May/June 1998, p.9).

In 1998 CRAS' website provided ample evidence that CRAS was promoting "safer sex" and condom use. The Pontifical Council for the Family, in its 1995 document, "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality," (139) said "safe sex" or "safer sex" is "a dangerous and immoral policy based on the deluded theory that a condom can provide adequate protection against AIDS."

Such a policy is deadly and does more harm than good. Delaware County Right to Life (DCRTL) must, in good conscience, oppose this policy of CRAS. DCRTL realizes that CRAS does do objectively good work with afflicted persons in our area. Even Planned Parenthood provides some objectively good services. Yet CRAS, like Planned Parenthood, is promoting certain policies that are dangerous, immoral, deadly, and inimical to Catholic teaching contained, for example, in "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality," (par. 139 & note 71) and in the US Bishops' 1989 document "Called to Compassion and Responsibility." The title of the US Bishops' document sums up completely DCRTL's position regarding the HIV/AIDS crisis. We must show compassion to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS as we simultaneously promote responsible behavior consistent with the truth and meaning of human sexuality.