Statistics bear out the fact that the wide distribution of condoms as a prevention strategy does not succeed. It does not bring down the rate, and this is what the Holy Father said. He didn’t deny that a condom might be useful sometimes. What he denied was that the promotion of condoms, as a primary prevention strategy, does not succeed. It does not achieve its objective. It does not bring down the average rate of HIV in the population. But people got very agitated because they didn’t study and listen carefully to what he said and because they are not well informed and because there is a lot of ideology and emotion and interest behind this whole issue, and so there was a lot of controversy
in Washington Post
In 2003, Norman Hearst and Sanny Chen of the University of California conducted a condom effectiveness study for the United Nations' AIDS program and found no evidence of condoms working as a primary HIV-prevention measure in Africa. UNAIDS quietly disowned the study. (The authors eventually managed to publish their findings in the quarterly Studies in Family Planning.) Since then, major articles in other peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Science and BMJ have confirmed that condoms have not worked as a primary intervention in the population-wide epidemics of Africa. In a 2008 article in Science called "Reassessing HIV Prevention" 10 AIDS experts concluded that "consistent condom use has not reached a sufficiently high level, even after many years of widespread and often aggressive promotion, to produce a measurable slowing of new infections in the generalized epidemics of Sub-Saharan Africa."