23 May 2011
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is still a major health concern in the world with an estimated 33 million people currently living with the infection – 67% in sub-Saharan Africa where the Christian Brothers have made the liberation of oppressed youth from HIV/AIDS a major focus.
Children are often the forgotten victims of this pandemic. An estimated 800 children die of AIDS-related diseases each day. The evidence that treatment is very successful in children living with HIV is clear, yet significant obstacles remain to prevent hundreds of thousands of children from obtaining the care they need.
The Caritas campaign is targeting both governments and pharmaceutical companies to ask them to do more to prevent mother to child infection in the first place (the fact that it is virtually unheard of in the developed world indicates that it is preventable) and to develop and increase the availability of child-friendly medication to treat HIV.
Resource materials are currently being distributed to all Edmund Rice Schools around the world to enable them to participate in the campaign in the hope that schools who supported the campaign in the past will do so again with a new group of students, and that they will be joined by many more of the estimated quarter of a million students in Edmund Rice schools around the world.
Acting together the Edmund Rice Network has the potential to be a powerful force for justice.