AIDS is to be combated by realistically facing its deeper causes
and the sick are to be given the loving care they need.
- Pope Benedict XVI, homily at the Neue Messe, Munich , Sunday, 10 September 2006
The HIV and AIDS epidemic is a global emergency affecting people in every country. It has killed 25 million people since 1981. The United Nations estimates that there are 30-36 million current cases around the world. However, there has been a significant decrease since 2001 partly due to the impact of HIV programmes
At the root of many of the problems are:
The epidemic is one of the biggest threats to human development, because HIV and AIDS are both a cause of poverty and a reflection of poverty.
That is why we try to ensure that there is an element of HIV and AIDS prevention, care or treatment in all our development and humanitarian programmes where possible. Partners that we are specifically supporting in HIV and AIDS work include:
In response to God's love for all of humanity, shown by Jesus' own response to the most vulnerable in his community, the Church is called to model acceptance for all and to ensure that all receive support and care.
It is estimated that, of all the centres around the world that treat people infected with HIV or AIDS, 26.7 percent are Catholic-based.