Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring 2015
Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Dempsey
Condom Use by HIV-Discordant Married Couples
The Intention to Prevent the Transmission of Disease
Since the 1980s Catholic moralists have discussed whether the use of condoms to prevent the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS is morally permissible. In 2004 Rev. Martin Rhonheimer argued that the use of condoms by HIV-discordant married couples, although not prudent or advisable, was nevertheless not intrinsically wrong. Many other Catholic moralists strongly disagreed with him. This paper analyzes both sides of the argument and concludes that the practice is not morally permissible even for an infertile married couple because the use of a non-perforated condom, by preventing male ejaculation into the vagina, deprives the act of its essential ordination to procreation. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 15.1 (Spring 2015): 91–105.