On World AIDS Day, the Pope asks for solidarity with victims

He recalled that, in some areas, there is no access to essential care

Published in 01/12/2021 - 11:31 By Philip Pullella - Repórter da Reuters - Cidade do Vaticano

Pope Francis asked this Wednesday (1st) for more solidarity with those suffering from the HIV virus, to ensure care for those living in the poorest places in the world.

In his general audience, Francisco said that World AIDS Day is an important occasion to remember those affected by the virus. In some areas of the world there is no access to essential care, he said.

UNAids, the United Nations (UN)-based HIV and AIDS program based in Geneva, said on Monday that the covid-19 pandemic is undermining the response to AIDS in many places, and that services for people using HIV drugs experienced disorders in 65% of 130 countries surveyed.

"I hope there can be a renewed commitment to solidarity to ensure efficient and equitable healthcare (for those with HIV-AIDS)," the pope said.

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

Last month, Francisco wrote a letter to Michael O'Loughlin, an American journalist who has written a book about the work of Catholics who helped AIDS victims at the beginning of the crisis that erupted in the 1980s.

"Thank you for illuminating the lives and witness of the many priests, religious women and lay people who choose to accompany, support and help their brothers and sisters suffering from HIV and AIDS, at great risk to their profession and reputation," the pope wrote in the letter.

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

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