| 22 April 2024, Monday |

On World AIDS Day, Pope calls for renewed solidarity with victims

On Wednesday, Pope Francis called for greater solidarity with individuals infected with the HIV virus in order to ensure care for those in the world’s poorest locations.

In his general audience address, Francis stated that World AIDS Day was a vital occasion to commemorate those who had been impacted by the epidemic. He claims that in certain parts of the world, people do not have access to basic health care.

According to UNAIDS, the Geneva-based United Nations agency on HIV and AIDS, the COVID-19 pandemic is undermining the AIDS response in many locations, and services for persons who take HIV medications are interrupted in 65 percent of the 130 countries examined.

“I would want to see a renewed commitment to solidarity in order to provide effective and equitable health care (for people living with HIV/AIDS),” the pope said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 37.7 million people were living with HIV by the end of 2020, with more than two-thirds of them residing in Africa.

Last month, Francis addressed a letter to Michael O’Loughlin, an American writer who authored a book on Catholics who supported AIDS sufferers in the early 1980s.

“Thank you for lighting the lives and bearing testimony to the numerous priests, women religious, and lay persons who have decided to accompany, support, and serve their brothers and sisters suffering from HIV and AIDS at considerable danger to their profession and reputation,” Francis wrote in the letter.

  • Reuters