Santiago (Fides Service) – The figures issued by the World Health Organisation with regard to AIDS in the world are alarming: 14,000 new cases every day, 95% in developing countries. Of these 14,000, about 2,000 are children under the age 15 and half the remaining 12,000, aged between 15 and 49, are women. Father Fernando Chomali, of the archdiocese of Santiago del Chile, has tackled the problem of ADIS in Chile from the scientific, numerical, ethic, legal, political and anthropological points of view. With his study “Scientific and Ethic aspects of the HIV epidemic and AIDS: towards an authentically human proposal” Father Chomali offers an integral vision of the prevention of HIV/AIDS which has affected 42 million people, 30 million in Africa and 1.9 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In Chile, AIDS is the fourth cause of death. The first case of AIDS was registered in 1984 and today some 30,000 people have the disease. The logic which inspires Father Chomali’s study is the human person’s right to full respect, whatever his or her state of health and a sincere desire to reveal all the aspects of this disease because of the right of every person to have access to correct information. Since the disease is transmitted from person to person, individual behaviour and the disease cannot be separated. Prevention is therefore automatically associated with a change in behaviour. Pope John Paul himself, addressing participants at the 4th International AIDS Conference in 1989, said that “for effective prevention it is necessary to give adequate and correct information, and to educate to mature responsibility”.
“We must never forget that we are created in the image and likeness of God and that we must value the treasure and dignity of every human person, particularly if he or she is sick” said Father Chomali who is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and of the Commission for Doctrine and Bio-ethics of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference. AP (Fides Service 3/7/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 395)