Dec 1, 2014 / 05:08 pm
The Church’s involvement in fighting AIDS is crucial and it must keep receiving funding from the U.S. for the number of infections to drop, said a health expert with Catholic Relief Services on World AIDS Day.
“We’ve seen a lot of positive outcomes in programs managed by the Church,” Dr. Jean Claude Kazadi told CNA.
He emphasized that the “comprehensive” focus on medication-based treatment combined with individual and communal empowerment is the “most effective way” of treating the disease.
Kazadi is the senior technical health advisor for Catholic Relief Services. He spoke with CNA on World AIDS Day, December 1, about the work CRS does in fighting and treating AIDS globally.
It is a comprehensive approach that seeks to empower the individual and the community through providing medication, he said, while also ensuring that infected persons take the medication daily and are held accountable by those living around them.
“You cannot have a good outcome,” Kazadi warned, “without getting (medications) involved.”
Medications can reduce the reach of AIDS, but they must be taken regularly for life. When the anti-retroviral medication is combined with all the rest of the treatments, the risk of spreading the disease is reduced by 96 percent, he maintained.
By focusing on medication-based treatment, Catholic Relief Services is thus able to prevent the spread of AIDS without purchasing or distributing condoms, the use of which violate Church teaching.
Even with the medication, Kazadi insisted, the global focus moving forward must be on children who are infected with AIDS. Out of the 2 million persons infected last year, 240,000 were children. Orphans especially must have access to the anti-retroviral treatment that is so critical to fighting the disease.
“That is one of our commitments for years to come,” he said. …
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