Ken Hackett Calls for Commitment On World AIDS Day

On this World AIDS Day, even as we despair at the terrible toll that this disease takes, we can celebrate those who save thousands of lives every day as they treat the infection. We can celebrate those who bring aid and comfort to children orphaned or left in a vulnerable state by HIV and AIDS. We can celebrate those who help the many thousands living with HIV find dignity and fulfillment. And we can celebrate those who bring treatment and counsel to AIDS sufferers in their final days.

At Catholic Relief Services, we are grateful that we can be a part of this effort, that we can answer the call of Pope Benedict for ‘everyone to make their contribution, with prayer and tangible assistance, so that people affected by the HIV virus may experience the presence of the Lord who offers comfort and hope.’ Thanks to the commitment of our partners and the generosity of our donors, the AIDSRelief consortium that CRS is part of is active in nine countries, delivering care and treatment to over 450,000 people. More than 175,000 of those are receiving life-saving anti-retroviral treatment.

Only a few years ago, a diagnosis of an HIV infection in the developing world was a death sentence. That is no longer the case. At CRS we are committed to keeping people with this virus alive and healthy even as we work to stop its spread by emphasizing the need to change risky behaviour. On World AIDS Day, I ask that you join with us, that you live in solidarity both with those who have HIV and with those fighting this disease around the world.

Ken Hackett, CRS President

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