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Caritas World AIDS Day call for solidarity

To mark yesterday's World AIDS Day, Caritas Internationalis was promoting the theme 'Live and Let Live' to eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

The Caritas Confederation, which has been involved at the local and international level on HIV/AIDS since the early 1980s, is concerned to promote a "compassionate, non-judgmental" response to people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Caritas statement said that while mortality rates from the disease remain shockingly high, for the millions of people worldwide living with the virus, daily life and the struggle to survive with dignity are a constant challenge.

According to the latest UN statistics, about 40 million people worldwide are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. Caritas said people can and do live with the virus, but they are often victims of discrimination.

"Ignored by society and neglected by their own family members, colleagues, and friends, many are refused housing, educational services, decent employment, and basic health care.

Caritas Internationalis President Archbishop Fouad El Hage said Poverty and AIDS are "intimately connected".

"Caritas has pledged to combat the pandemic through its particular perspective as a Catholic aid and development organisation. That also means everyone being involved in getting rid of discrimination and stigma, as Jesus did in his day," he said.

Caritas Internationalis Calls for Solidarity on World AIDS Day (Caritas Internationalis 28/11/03)

Acceptance and Spiritual Support Urged for AIDS Patients (Zenit 30/11/03)
Chastity best protection against AIDS: Vatican (ABC 2/12/03)
Chastity best AIDS protection: Vatican (The Advertiser 2/12/03)
Pope prays for AIDS victims (1/12/03)
Catholic Group Challenges Vatican's 'Condoms Spread Aids' Claim (The Scotsman 30/11/03)
Catholics resist condoms (The Age/Reuters 29/11/03)
Pamela Bone: In the fight against AIDS, Catholics can only be ashamed (The Age 1/12/03)
Vatican claims slammed (Sky News London 30/11/03)
Catholic Church leads world AIDS efforts, prelate reports (Catholic World News 28/11/03)
Courts Will Examine Contraceptive Laws (AP/Newsday 30/11/03)
Where we are now (The Guardian)
The Vatican's condom challenge (BBC 25/11/03)
OzSpirit: Global Debt and AIDS
World AIDS Day
African Jesuit AIDS Network
National Catholic AIDS Network

2 Dec 2003