On the eve of the World AIDS Day, the pope has asked governments and society to remember the poorest victims of this scourge.
"Millions of people live with this disease, but only half of them have access to therapies that can save their lives. I ask you to pray for them and for their relatives, and to foster solidarity so that also the poor can access diagnostics and adequate treatment. I also ask that everyone have a responsible behavior to prevent the spread of this disease.”
In the West, AIDS can be treated and transformed into a chronic ailment, but in Africa, patients cannot pay for antriretroviral drugs, the only that are able to slow down the progression of the disease.
Many Catholic institutions are devoted to the care of the victims of AIDS and to its prevention. In some countries in Africa, the Church cares for the immense majority of the patients. That is the case for the Community of Sant'Egidio, which gives out free antiretroviral drugs and organizes hundreds of courses on health education.