Peru's Prelates Launch Plan for AIDS

LIMA, Peru, NOV. 25, 2004 ( Responding to John Paul II’s appeal to assist AIDS patients, the Peruvian bishops have launched a program entitled «Pastoral Endeavor of Hope.»

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The program aims to support, serve and educate and to defend the rights of thousands of people suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome, said sources of the Peruvian episcopate.

Sister Graciela Solis, executive secretary of the bishops’ Department of Health Pastoral Care, explained that the initiative is in response to the need to help and support «our brothers who are often marginalized by society.»

The plan is to involve the Church’s whole network of health care agents in dioceses and to coordinate them with health institutions involved in the struggle against AIDS.

«The HIV/AIDS pastoral plan is to work directly with individuals suffering from this scourge, through personal or family visits, to offer them moral and spiritual support,» Sister Solis said.

Health care agents will offer guidance and undertake campaigns to sensitize the whole community, too, the woman religious said.

The first case of HIV/AIDS was reported in Peru in 1983. As of April 30, more than 14,700 cases have been reported.

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