Pope speaks out on Aids
Pope Francis has issued a call for "responsible behaviour" to prevent the spread of Aids, without specifying whether that included wearing condoms.
The pontiff issued a fresh call for every sufferer to have access to treatment.
In a message ahead of World Aids Day today the Argentinian pontiff said millions were living with the disease and "only half of them have access to life-saving treatment".
He said: "I ask you to pray for them and their loved ones and promote solidarity so that even the poorest can benefit from diagnosis and adequate treatment. I call on everyone to adopt responsible behaviour to prevent the spread of Aids."
His comments are likely to be interpreted as a fresh signal of the Catholic Church's easing of its opposition to the use of condoms in response to Aids.
But the pope's comments could also be seen as a call for carriers of the HI virus to refrain from having sex.
He has said the issue poses a "perplexing" question for church teaching, which maintains that contraception interferes with the creation of life and should, therefore, be forbidden.