Vatican City, Dec 1, 2011 / 22:46 pm America/Denver (CNA).
To mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers appealed for universal access to life-saving treatment for all AIDS victims and urged others to show solidarity with them.
“Although the international community began to work against this infection over twenty years ago, unfortunately it is estimated that 1,800,000 people still die every year because of HIV. These are people who could lead normal lives if they only had access to suitable pharmacological therapies, those known as antiretroviral therapies,” the council’s president Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski said Dec. 1.
The development of suitable treatments means that AIDS patients’ deaths, and the sufferings this causes their families, are “no longer justifiable.”
The archbishop said the annual observance is also a time to promote prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child and to educate others in a “truly correct and responsible” approach to sexuality.
The day is also an occasion to “re-launch the fight against social prejudice and to reaffirm the need for moral, spiritual and – as far as this is possible – material proximity to those who have contracted the infection and to their family relatives.”