VATICAN CITY, NOV. 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- On the eve of a U.N.-designated World Day to combat AIDS, the Holy See appealed to the media to offer correct information about the disease.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, sent a message on the occasion of World Day Against AIDS and at the same time appealed for solidarity and Christian commitment for those affected by HIV. The World Day will be observed this Thursday.
In the document the cardinal addresses the media and suggests that they “provide transparent, correct and truthful information to populations on this phenomenon and on methods for its prevention, without forms of exploitation.”
According to the cardinal, there are 40.3 million people living with AIDS, including 2.3 million children less than 15 years of age.
This year, 4.9 million people were infected by the HIV virus, 700,000 of whom are under 15 years old, he writes. Another 3.1 million people died from AIDS, among whom were 570,000 younger than 15, the prelate adds.
Cardinal Lozano Barragán urges governments “to promote the overall health of their populations and foster care for AIDS patients, basing themselves on the principles of responsibility, solidarity, justice and fairness.”
The Vatican official asks pharmaceutical industries to “facilitate economic access to anti-viral pharmaceuticals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and those pharmaceuticals that are needed to treat opportunistic infections.”
The message also addresses scientists and health care workers, encouraging them to “renew their solidarity and do everything they can to advance biomedical research into HIV/AIDS in order to find new and effective pharmaceuticals that are able to stem the phenomenon.”
Finally, the cardinal asks Christian communities to “continue to promote the stability of the family and the education of children in correct understanding of sexual activity as a gift of God for self-giving that is lovingly full and fertile.”