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Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican No. 2, Urges AIDS Cure And Universal Access To Drugs; Sidesteps Condoms

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican's No. 2 official has called for universal, free access to drugs to combat HIV and for investments into finding a cure.

But Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, made no mention of condoms in a speech Friday at an international AIDS conference in Rome. And he made no explicit reference to the Vatican's traditional position that the best way to prevent HIV transmission is to abstain from sex before marriage and remain faithful within marriage.

Pope Benedict XVI made headlines in 2010 when he said a male prostitute who intends to use a condom might be taking a first step toward greater responsibility because he is looking out for the welfare of his partner. The Vatican insisted he wasn't justifying condom usage to prevent HIV spread.

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