Advocacy on AIDS
23 July 2012
“AIDS is an important disease that we should all know about,” said fifteen-year-old Shareen Awad. “Our classmates asked many questions and through a comedy routine we put on, we taught them how to avoid HIV.” Shareen was trained as a peer educator by Caritas Jordan’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Project and now spreads the word in a countr y where conservative attitudes could leave the door open for the virus to spread.
15-year-old Shareen Awad addresses parishioners during a Caritas Jordan awareness lecture in Amman.
Dr Ammar Burgan of Caritas Jordan said his medical colleagues also needed to be given the correct information. “Caritas is the first in this country to discuss HIV correctly and clearly.” Jordan is just one of the more than 100 Caritas members who continue their grassroots work with people affected by HIV and AIDS.
At the international level, Caritas Internationalis continued to advocate for appropriate and affordable Highly Active Retroviral Therapy through its HAART for Children campaign. Caritas Internationalis Head of Geneva Delegation Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo was also appointed to the steering group of the Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections in children by 2015 and to keep their mothers healthy, which is sponsored by UNAIDS and other international agencies.
At the High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS, held during June 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York, Caritas co-sponsored a side event on the ‘Impact of Cutbacks and Flat-lining of funding for AIDS programmes in Low Income Countries’.