AIDS Work Aims to Promote Dignity

The work of the Catholic Church in Africa to stem the spread of H.I.V. and to care for people living with AIDS is designed to respect the dignity and life of each person and to show solidarity with everyone in need, said the moderator of the Jesuit superiors in Africa and Madagascar. In a statement prepared for the commemoration of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Fratern Masawe, S.J., said that when AIDS first began to afflict Africa 25 years ago, “few of us reacted well. People who were H.I.V.-positive or suffered from AIDS could easily find themselves condemned, rejected, cast out and treated ‘as good as dead.’” Over the years since, Catholic agencies have worked to prevent the spread of H.I.V., defend the dignity of people who are H.I.V.-positive and offer medical treatment and other assistance to those living with AIDS.

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