Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé. Photo: Wiki Commons
Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé was in Rome yesterday for meetings with Pope Benedict XVI, Holy See officials and Caritas Internationalis representatives. Sidibé asked Pope Benedict for his support in keeping children free from HIV. He said it’s an achievable goal and one which can be reached by 2015.
“Millions of people around the world living with and affected by HIV are being supported by Catholic health care organisations,” said Mr Sidibé. “The full engagement of the Catholic Church in efforts to achieve zero new HIV infections among children is of paramount importance.”
Listen to Philipp Hitchens interview with Michel Sidibé.
UNAIDS and partners launched last year a Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive. The plan outlines a strategy which focuses particularly on the 22 countries that account for more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in children world-wide.
Sidibé also met with Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, which serves as one of the civil society organisations represented on the steering committee of the Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections in children. Continue reading
US ambassador to the Vatican, Miguel Diaz, and Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's observer to the UN in Geneva, were just two of the speakers on the first day of the Caritas/US Embassy to the Holy See AIDS conference. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis
If you think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito, goes the saying.
Representatives from UN agencies, drug companies and NGOs and faith-based organisations large and small (but very effective) came to Rome mid-October to make headway on the desperate problem of children living with HIV and TB in poor countries.
The occasion was a paediatrics AIDS conference organised by Caritas Internationalis and the US Embassy to the Holy See. There were few mosquitoes around thankfully, but lots of ideas and discussion on the issues surrounding children with AIDS and TB.
One of the main messages to emerge from the conference on improving testing and treatment for these children was that while all the organisations worked well in their fields, their impact would be much greater if they joined their forces together. Continue reading