The Vatican recently held a summit for experts on HIV and AIDS in an effort to help spread information on prevention of this sexually transmitted disease and to discuss care for people living with the virus.
Last fall, Pope Benedict XVI made some ambiguous remarks regarding condom usage for male prostitutes, leading some to believe that the church had changed its stance on the best practices for preventing HIV or AIDS.
"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be the first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility," the Pope said earlier.
However, PBS reports that Catholic health officials are denying any acceptance of the use of condoms as a main strategy to prevent the life-threatening virus.
Still, Michael Sidibe, head of UNAIDS, said he sees the Pope's statements as a sign of progress, according to the news source. The United Nations organization strongly recommends the use of condoms for HIV and AIDS prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when condoms are used consistently and correctly, they can be very effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.