DECEMBER 1 WORLD AIDS DAY EUROPE/ITALY - 110-130,000 Italians infected, only “good” news: no paediatric cases registered 30 June 2004 in Emilia Romagna, but 3 in Italy

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

Rome (Fides Service) - The grip of AIDS on Italy is ever stronger. Less people die but more are infected. Every two hours another person become HIV+. One out of 2 realises it only when the disease is serious. There are more cases among ‘unsuspected’ persons: one out of 20 HIV+ is over 60. More heterosexual persons are and more homosexual persons are infected.
It is estimated that in our country between 110,000 and 130,000 persons are infected. From 1 January to 30 June 54 cases were registered in Emilia Romagna bringing the total to 5,207 since 1982 when AIDS first struck. According to the Centro Operativo Aids (COA) July 2003-June 2004 161 cases were registered (169 July 2002-June 2003) by province as follows: Bologna 22 cases (33 July 2002 - June 2003); Ferrara 12 cases (14 July 2002 - June 2003); Forlì 13 cases (23 July 2002 - June 2003); Modena 16 cases (18 July 2002 - June 2003); Parma 12 cases (14 July 2002 - June 2003); Piacenza 21 cases (12 July 2002 - June 2003); Ravenna 29 cases (22 July 2002 - June 2003); Reggio Emilia 18 cases (13 July 2002 - June 2003); Rimini 18 cases (20 July 2002 - June 2003).
Since the epidemic started in 1982, to 30 June 2004 there have been 5,207 confirmed cases in Emilia Romagna which is in first place among the Italian regions with: July 2003- June 2004 four out of every hundred persons infected compared to July 2002-June 2003 4.2.
Some good news: 30 June 2004 no paediatric cases in Emilia Romagna, but 3 in Italy. (AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:29; Parole:395)


25,000 AIDS patients; 6,000 new cases of HIV+ per year. 43% of new cases are women patients

Rome (Fides Service) -AIDS continue sto affect France with about 6,000 new cases of HIV+ every year. Today 90,000 persons are HIV+ and the number of reported cases in 120,000 compared to 1,323 in 2003.
According to the INVS (Institut de Veille Sanitarie) in France about 25,000 people have AIDS; women represent 43% of the new cases and 47% of HIV persons, half of whom were unaware of their infection and not taking medicine. (AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:12; Parole:118)


One million deaths by 2010: therapy too costly

Rome (Fides Service) - Drug abuse, prostitution, inadequate healthcare service and an epidemic of AIDS in Russia could mean that one million persons may die of AIDS before 2010.
According to the health authorities in 2004 the number of HIV+ persons has risen by 10%. The high mortality rate is due to costly therapy: 5,600 to 15,000 a year, too expensive for 99% of HIV+ persons in Russia. Only 3,000 out of 300,000 receive adequate treatment.
A few years ago AIDS affected mainly drug addicts. Today it affects the population in general, 50% of all new cases are reported to be due to sexual transmission. (AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:14; Parole:145)


Camillian Brothers organise demonstration with provincial health and administration authorities
Rayong (Fides Service) - “World AIDS Day here in the province of Rayong, will be somewhat different” Camillian Father Giovanni Contarin, writes from the Rayong Centre where he cares for children with AIDS. “There will be nothing special here at the Centre but with the with provincial health and administration authorities we have organised an event in Rayong and a 3 mile parade through the city.
Twenty industries and schools will be taking part. Preparations began two months ago and it was decided to hold weekly meetings to increase awareness in schools and industries. We prepared a talk show and cultural games which will be presented at 2pm on 1 December on a platform in front of the ITC centre involving some 600 persons. At 4pm about 1,000 people, school children in uniform, police, nurses, teachers, students, HIV+persons, state workers, representatives of the Camillian community, will walk from Wat Pradu school through the streets each with their own school or industry banner. The governor will also take part. Most people will wear World AIDS Day t shirts and the parade will be accompanied by music.
The parade message will say that AIDS is present and that it can be prevented and that people with HIV/AIDS deserve solidarity and compassion, not fear and exclusion from family and community.
The parade will meet another 600 people who will have finished the programme and after a speech by the Governor, a group of AIDS orphans at our Centre will sing two songs.
Superior at Rayong, Father Siranon will speak about God’s mercy, a message for all people of all religions, about the need to spread values of mercy and love at the inter-religious level. This will be followed by testimony from HIV+ persons and students who are part of an "action plan" for prevention which we have organised in the province of Rayong. This will be followed by a concert of local bands and a small reception with cakes and soft drinks. After work hours at 5pm workers will join the participants and the event will end at 8pm.
Our Catholic AIDS committee has prepared posters showing religious Sisters and women united to prevent AIDS. The poster aims to help women to realise their rights in inter-personal relations, the value of authentic love, and decision-making with regards prevention of HIV. A total of 50,000 posters have been distributed to Catholic schools, churches and centres where Catholics care for people with AIDS .
We sent the clergy suggestions for talks on the problem during Advent and how to increase awareness of the quality of life in a Christian family.
It is superfluous to recall the question of brainwashing with regard to the use of the condom proposed and distributed at every level. On the contrary our aim is to offer long term education on responsibility, quality of life, dignity of the human person, the value of the family and merciful love. A message which is bound to have its effect!” the Camillian Father concluded. (AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:52; Parole:673)


In 2004 over 1.7 million living with HIV/AIDS, 95,000 people dead and 240,000 new cases

Rome (Fides Service) - Venezuela is affected by one of most serious epidemics in the region. In 2003 the number of persons infected was 110,000. Brazil has two thirds of all the people with HIV/AIDS in Latin America. In Argentina HIV affects mainly people in cities in the provinces of Buenos Aires (65%), Cordoba and Santa Fé. In Uruguay, the capital Montevideo is the area most affected mainly due to drug abuse. In 2004 in Latin America more than 1.7 million persons were living with HIV+ , 95,000 people died of AIDS and 240,000 new cases were registered . (AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:11; Parole:119)


“Changing the course of the epidemic”: Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Care of the Sick and healthcare Workers
Guatemala City (Fides Service) - On 25 November the Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Care of the Sick and Healthcare Workers, comprising health experts from the different dioceses and apostolic Vicariates, organised the first in a series of Forums on HIV/AIDS which will continue until 6 December with meetings, demonstrations, TV debates and national radio publicity spots with the themes: “Guatemalteca por tu futuro informate y previene el Vih/Sida”, because the pandemic is spreading affecting women in particular. In every diocese there will be special Masses, forums, and solidarity marches.
Various Latin American associations such as Fundación Preventiva del SIDA “Fernando Iturbide” in collaboration with Doctors without Frontiers, National Network of Persons with HIV/AIDS, Solidaridad Positiva group, Asociación de Salud Integral, Diplomado en Atención Integral del VIH/SIDA, Catholic Relief Services, Guatemala City council , Pasos y pedales, took part in a “II Gran Recorrido por la vida” to help those who work at the Clínica Familiar “Luis Ángel García”, with the motto “changing the course of the epidemic”. (AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:20; Parole:213)


“The problem of AIDS is medical, social, economic, pastoral, ethical and moral”: Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Care of the Sick and healthcare Workers issues message

Lima (Fides Service) - “Solidarity is the best means of prevention” according to a message issued by the Peruvian Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Care of the Sick and healthcare Workers (DEPASA). The commission urges people to show solidarity with persons affected by HIV/AIDS, not to abandon them, but to become part of Pastoral Care of Hope which serves, accompanies, educates and defends the rights of thousands of sufferers excluded by society.
HIV/AIDS affects young people, men and women, it destroys families and the Bishops say the only way to prevent this scourge is “sexuality lived with responsibility and chastity before marriage and fidelity in marriage”.
Message in Spanish Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Care of the Sick and healthcare Workers
(AP) (1/12/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:15; Parole:145)


World AIDS Day, Caritas Australia re-launches commitment to fight HIV/AIDS now at the doors of Oceania

Sydney (Fides Service) - Hitherto AIDS was a problem affecting mainly the continent of Africa, but now HIV is at the doors of Australia: in Papua Nuova Guinea 50% of all hospitals patients suffer from pathologies connected with AIDS. Contagion is spreading also in Australia where Caritas Australia is working in collaboration with AUSAID (government body) to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Caritas trains diocesan workers to prevent and fight HIV/AIDS, especially among young people, who then train hundreds of others, pastoral workers, teachers, catechists.
Besides increasing awareness of the threat of HIV/AIDS on the occasion of World Aids Day, Caritas also offered a concrete contribution for prevention and assistance in health structures in Papua New Guinea. Recently Caritas Australia planned and funded a programme for three new Anti-AIDS centres. The programme includes training medical and paramedical personnel, supplying medicine and equipment, caring for patients at the different stages of HIV. The five year programme aims to develop local human resources to enable the country to fight HIV/AIDS.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 1/12/2004 righe 24 parole 242)