.- The Bishops Conference of Mexico took the occasion of World AIDS Day to express its firm support for a prevention campaign against the disease, and at the same time expressing solidarity with those infected with the HIV virus. Conference president Bishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago explained that the Catholic Church has also a coordinated a response with the global plans to deal with this disease.
Governments must provide sufficient funding to combat this evil, he said, increase education in the values of life, love and sexuality, both at school and at home, and eliminate all forms of discrimination against those who suffer from AIDS and to spiritually support them.
The bishop recalled that the Vatican has called for society to play a greater role in the fight against AIDS and for the industrialized countries to help nations that are need, as well as to eradicate sexual exploitation.
He also said AIDS medicines should be made accessible to people who suffer from the disease, and that special care should be given to those who are carriers of the virus, as well as to those orphaned by AIDS and those who are most vulnerable.
Bishop Martin Rabago also said that, as an act of solidarity, the Church in Mexico has responded to the call of the Holy See to take up a special collection for the church in the Central African Republic, where some 260,000 people are infected with HIV, that is, almost half of the population.
“We want this collection to inspire in all of us the desire to learn about this evil, the desire to be united with our brothers and sisters who are carriers of this virus, eradicating discriminatory attitudes,” the bishop underscored.
“We are convinced that the Church has always been called to evangelize the poor and to help those most in need, and undoubtedly we will support those who have this illness, as they are one of the groups most in need of help,” said Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco and General Secretary of the Bishops Conference.
He said several religious communities have opened their doors to persons who suffer from AIDS and who have been rejected by their very own families.
Around 170,000 people are carriers of the HIV virus in Mexico.