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The Vatican Is Now Addressing HIV Issues


In a historic move, the religious institution is expanding testing and care for HIV-positive kids.

According to The Crux, an independently owned online newspaper that focuses on news related to the Catholic Church, the Vatican brought together an unknown number of physicians and representatives of drug companies and humanitarian agencies to "strategize ways to improve care for children and adolescents who are HIV-positive."

Cardinal Peter Turkson convened a “dialogue” at the Vatican Dec. 6-7 on the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric HIV.

The meeting aimed to “address bottlenecks that limit access to early infant diagnostic products and programs” as well as to “scale up strategies that can help quickly identify HIV-exposed children and link them to testing and treatment services,” according to Caritas Internationalis, which helped sponsor the event.

While the global community has made great progress in improving access for adults to HIV and AIDS testing and treatment services, “more than 120,000 children continue to die each year from AIDS-related causes and over 13,000 children are newly infected each month,” said a Caritas press release Dec. 6.

[It should be noted that the Catholic's stance on prophylactics was led to innumerable HIV contractions.]

The global community can save the lives of children still lacking adequate care “by providing early diagnosis and effective treatment to all HIV-infected children,” said Stefano Nobile, an advocacy officer for Caritas Internationalis’ focal point for health and HIV.

The December meeting was organized with the AIDS Free Working Group of the Start Free, Stay Free and AIDS Free Framework, PEPFAR and UNAIDS, along with Caritas Internationalis and the World Council of Churches-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.


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