Rome, Italy, Jun 5, 2011 / 13:12 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Vatican’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva says that 30 years after the discovery of AIDS, international relief agencies and faith-based groups are beginning to show an openness to the Catholic solution for the illness.
“We are at the beginning of a convergence in the sense that functionaries of international institutions and organizations and people from faith-based groups are talking across the lines and coming to respect each other a bit more,” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told CNA.
Archbishop Tomasi’s comments come three decades after the first medical paper recognizing the illness was published in the U.S.
Based on a study of homosexual men in California and New York, the new ailment was initially labelled GRID, or Gay-related Immune Deficiency. Since then, the U.N. estimates that 65 million people worldwide have been infected by HIV/AIDS, with over 25 million killed.
The most significant point of departure between the Catholic Church and many other bodies involved in the fight against AIDS is over the use of condoms as a preventative measure.
“It has been proven and even documented now that the really effective way is to change your behaviour. And so, this has been our insistence,” Archbishop Tomasi said, stressing the Catholic Church’s emphasis on behavioral change over condom-distribution.