About the Condoms4Life Campaign
Condoms4Life is an unprecedented worldwide public education effort to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms. The campaign was launched on World AIDS Day 2001 with the display of billboards and ads in subways and newspapers saying, “Banning Condoms Kills.”
The advertising campaign in the US, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya, Chile and Zimbabwe, was the first phase of an effort to change the Vatican’s policy and challenge its aggressive lobbying against availability and access to condoms in areas of the world most at risk. The ads point out that many of the 4,000 plus bishops lobby governments and the United Nations to restrict access to condoms claiming that condoms cause AIDS, not prevent it.
For World AIDS Day in 2002, the campaign emphasized positive progress in the church. We organized a campaign in support of Bishop Kevin Dowling in Rustenberg, South Africa, who received hundreds of postcards from Condoms4Life supporters thanking him for his courage in opposing the church’s ban on condoms.
In 2003, in response to the inaccurate and irresponsible claims by a Vatican official that condoms do not prevent HIV transmission, the campaign urged Catholics, especially young people, to use condoms as part of a mature, responsible sexuality.
World Youth Day 2005 was held in Cologne, Germany, where the World Youth Day 4 All coalition members joined the other pilgrims from around the world to share the Condoms4Life public education campaign.
The year 2009 marked the introduction of the Condoms4Life radio ads that delivered the message “Good Catholics use condoms” in Spanish and English to New York City radio stations.
In 2011, Condoms4Life brought the message that condoms save lives to the pilgrims of World Youth Day and the people of Madrid, despite municipal authorities’ efforts to ban advertisement intended for buses and bus shelters. This censorship of the Condoms4Life campaign attracted worldwide media attention. Through nightly projections on city buildings and posters and stickers distributed throughout the city by the World Youth Day 4 All coalition, the life-giving message of Condoms4Life reached visitors and residents of Madrid. In particular, youth advocates thanked Pope Benedict his acknowledgement in 2010 that condoms save lives.
The XIX International AIDS Conference took place in Washington DC in July 2012. The Condoms4Life campaign sponsored four events at the conference and thousands of conference-goers saw our ads and visited our booth to get the latest campaign materials, information and publications.
The campaign is sponsored by Catholics for Choice, its partners in Europe and Latin America and colleagues in Africa and Asia.
The Condoms4Life web site contains facts on HIV & AIDS and on Catholic hierarchy’s opposition to condoms around the world.