The Vatican Press Office released a message today on the occasion of World AIDS Day, dedicated to women this year, written by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, which calls for education on the sacredness of human life and in chastity as ways to prevent "one of the most devastating epidemics of our times.”
The letter notes that AIDS has killed 22 million people so far and 42 million people currently suffer from it.
"I share the concern of the international community,” said the Cardinal Lozano, “for the dramatic consequences of this disease on health, life conditions, perspectives, the statute and dignity of women and girls in many regions of the world.”
He said that “the impact of HIV/AIDS on women aggravates inequality and impedes progress toward the universality of rights. The more the disease spreads among women, who are the nucleus of the family and of communities, the greater the risk of social devastation."
Cardinal Lozano pointed to Pope John Paul II’s Message for the World Day of the Sick 2005 which states that “education with respect to the sacred value of life and the formation and correct practice of sexuality," were necessary in order to responsibly fight AIDS, and he said that observing the virtue of chastity can prevent an increase in AIDS cases.
The president of the council indicated that campaign against AIDS can be carried out by "asking industrialized countries to help countries who need it …while avoiding every form of colonialism, and lowering the price of the necessary antiretroviral drugs as much as possible in order to cure those afflicted with AIDS."