Catholic leaders in Kenya announce plan to battle AIDS scourge

.- Faced with the growing threat that some 1.27 million Kenyans are living with HIV, the Catholic Church in that country has announced a dramatic new plan to prevent exposure and unite major religions behind new national policy.

The program, called “This We Teach and Do”, was launched November 7th during the plenary meeting of the Kenya’s Catholic bishops.

A statement released by the task force which prepared the new policy said that "’This We Teach and Do’ aims to encourage and fortify Kenyan Catholics, Christians and Muslims and believers from other faiths, to unite in the fight against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS."

Reports say that the prevalence rate of Kenyans living with HIV has dropped from 6.1 percent in 2005 to 5.9 percent this year, suggesting modest gains on the problem.

While specific details on the plan are still forthcoming, the Church’s statement point out that the new plan will hold fast to traditional Catholic teaching with condemns artificial contraception.

In 1987, the Church in Kenya released its first ever statement on HIV/AIDS, saying that promiscuity, education and lack of fidelity were the primary causes of the country’s AIDS scourge.

A national conference on AIDS--marking the 20th anniversary of the pastoral letter--has been proposed for 2007.

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