Bishops Urge New President to Fight AIDS

The leader of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has urged Jacob Zuma to intensify the fight against AIDS when he takes office in May as that country’s next president. AIDS and H.I.V. need to be “our national priority, for it is dealing death to so many South African families and communities,” said Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg in a letter to Zuma published in South Africa’s Sunday Times on April 26. Calling H.I.V. and AIDS “the greatest threat to our country’s health and security,” Archbishop Tlhagale said the nongovernmental sector “can and must be given a supportive role in attacking this threat, but it is important that the government takes the initiative and leads the broader society in this new struggle.” The archbishop said nongovernmental organizations “are weary of fighting the government for what it is constitutionally, legally and morally bound to deliver.”

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