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Maryknoll missioners have worked in ministries focused on persons living with HIV and AIDS since the early 1980s, before the extent of the pandemic would be known, long before the loss of millions of lives from AIDS. In the ensuing years, Maryknollers have accompanied people dying of AIDS, worked with children orphaned by AIDS, supported women and girl children who are at risk of violence or sexual abuse, and witnessed the direct impact of debt, trade issues and poverty on societies being decimated by AIDS.

Click here to read the Maryknoll AIDS prayer.

World AIDS Day 2011

Listen to Maryknoll Fr. Rick Bauer on Vatican Radio: Click here for the link.

Maryknoll submits testimony to U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs during its discussion of Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, April 13, 2011

“AIDS has by far many more profound repercussions of a moral, social, economic, juridical and structural nature, not only on individual families and in neighborhood communities, but also on nations and on the entire community of peoples.” Pope John Paul II to a Vatican AIDS conference, 1989

Catholic social teaching makes reference to “the equal dignity of each human person in one human family; the call to equity in sharing resources; the call to overcome exclusions, discrimination...; the priority of the poor and vulnerable in a call to solidarity...”. In a world of HIV/AIDS, our serious response to Catholic social teachings is shaped by the following realities:

  • In some countries, HIV and AIDS has caused life expectancy to drop by more than 25 years.
  • Families of HIV and AIDS victims are often left in abject poverty, discriminated against, unable to find work or shelter.
  • In many countries, lack of access to essential drugs and life-prolonging medicines (available in wealthy nations) means that one’s children will be orphans, and often means that grandparents will raise grandchildren.
  • The financial drain of HIV and AIDS leads to debt burdens that negatively affect a country’s ability to feed and educate its people.
  • Cultural practices combined with HIV and AIDS lead to increased violence against women and girl children.

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns invites you to participate in the education and advocacy efforts on HIV and AIDS, in particular promoting:

  • 100 percent cancellation of impoverished countries’ debt without conditions
  • Annulment of illegitimate debt
  • An increase in appropriations for global health programming, specifically HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
  • An increase and consistent commitment to funding the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • The promise that the U.S. will commit to promote trade agreements that prioritize a country’s right to protect public health and provide access to essential medicines and AIDS drugs (known as the Doha Agreement)

Resources and links:

Organizations and websites:

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility works through investment holdings of various religious institutions to challenge corporate leadership to make changes in corporate policy to reflect socially responsibly actions.

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a global ecumenical network for international cooperation in advocacy on HIV and AIDS and global trade

UNAIDS is an excellent resource for new reports, updates on the Global Fund, press releases on global initiatives to combat AIDS and information on the spread of Global AIDS.

Global AIDS Alliance is a global action network to stop AIDS.

The National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC) Program Committee on Education For Mission has an extensive listing congregational resources from denominational and ecumenical sources at their site.

Maryknoll publications and videos:

These books and videos can be found at www.maryknollmall.org. Search for the editor/author’s name or by title:

Grant Me Justice: HIV/AIDS and Gender Readings of the Bible Musa W Dube and Musimbi Kanyoro, editors. (2005)

Women in the Time of AIDS: Women, Health and the Challenge of HIV Gillian Paterson (1996)

When God’s People Have HIV/AIDS Maria Cimperman (2005)

Video: “Coming to Say Goodbye: Stories of AIDS In Africa,” Maryknoll Productions

Other resources:

“A Generation of Hope,” available from EcuFilm, 800-251-4091.

“Zimbabwe: Fight for Life,” Catholic Relief Services

“Yes to Life,” which tells about Maryknoll Sister Mary Annel, a medical doctor, who treats people with AIDS in El Salvador, Maryknoll Sisters, P.O. Box 509, Maryknoll, NY 10545, 914-941-7575.

Additional films on HIV/AIDS and other issues are available free of charge (apart from return postage) from the Church World Service Film/Video Library, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515, 800-297-1516.

 

 

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