.- The Bishops Conference of Mexico has begun an AIDS awareness campaign this week to reach out to those suffering from the disease. According to the Secretary General of the Conference, Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, the campaign is in response to “the call by the Holy See to deal with this virus throughout the world.”
The campaign will include a national collection to be taken up on February 13 and which will be sent to the Central African Republic to help those suffering from AIDS.
The bishops also hope the campaign will raise awareness about HIV and AIDS as well as provide an opportunity for new strategies in dealing with the epidemic to be developed. They also hope it will help diminish the discrimination and stigmatization which AIDS sufferers endure.
“People with AIDS are not strangers or unknown, nor should they be the object of a mix of pity and repulsion. We should be aware of them, as individuals, and as a community we should treat them with unconditional love.”
“We should reject the false idea that HIV-AIDS is a punishment from God. It is rather a call to work together to educate and sensitize humanity in order to reduce new infections and the discrimination against those who are carriers of this virus,” said the bishop.
He went on to say that to the “sad problem of AIDS in the world, the hope of false solutions such as the use of condoms is added. We must provide real solutions: mature sexual education, the promotion of love that is not limited to physical pleasure, and the fostering of values that correspond to and respect the human person in all of his dimensions.”
“Let’s remember that AIDS is not only a bio-medical problem, it is a social problem as well that affects all human beings and requires of us effective and united actions,” he concluded.