One of the many ways in which the Catholic Church contributes to the struggle against HIV and AIDS in Africa is through education. With the support of the African Jesuit AIDS Network, a recent campaign in a Jesuit parish in Tanzania aimed to inform the values and behaviour of young people in their approach to HIV and AIDS.
Anthony Egan SJ suggests that while Pope Benedict’s 2010 comments about the use of condoms in the prevention of the spread of HIV do not, contrary to what has been reported, mark a break away from Catholic teaching, there is in fact a subtle innovation behind his words.
A recent call from leading scientists for a month-long sexual abstinence in Southern Africa to help prevent the spread of HIV might seem to have echoes of what the Church has said about tackling AIDS; but the Church and the scientific establishment aren’t quite on the same page, argues Peter Knox SJ. Why has the ‘ABC’ campaign employed by various governments to reduce new infections had limited success, and how can the Church help to promote a different, value-based strategy?
Michael Czerny SJ recounts the impression that Caritas in Veritate made on an HIV-positive mother in Nairobi, who has faced in her life many challenges to the ‘integral human development’ that the encyclical seeks to promote. How can Pope Benedict’s letter help Rosanna, not only through her reading and understanding of it, but through ours too?
Ekeno Augostine SJ of the African Jesuit AIDS Network tells the story of Mama Huruma, a HIV positive woman from Tanzania. How has HIV/AIDS affected the lives of Mama Huruma and her children, and how can we respond to the demands that her situation places upon us as members of one human family?
Pope Benedict’s words on 17 March 2009 regarding the use of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV, generated a media storm. But the Pope’s comments are not a cause for concern as they were reported to be, argues Michael Czerny SJ. Why is the Church’s teaching on this issue not ‘unrealistic and ineffective’ as alleged, but valuable, efficient and grounded in reality?
Talk about AIDS is dominated by medical and sociological theories, yet none of these theories have actually sought to articulate a dialogue that is rooted in the African worldview, until now.
Highlighting the importance of leadership in fighting AIDS, Fratern Masawe SJ reaffirms that the pandemic is an urgent priority for the Jesuits of Africa & Madagascar, who have a unique contribution to offer, even as public commitment to the struggle might be waning.
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