The presence of AIDS in our world today certainly gives cause for concern and reflection. It is such a complex issue, touching so many facets of human life, affecting millions of people, their communities and countries; it is difficult to know where to start thinking about it.
We can easily find out the figures and the trends, which will paint a picture of the devastation wrought by AIDS, of the signs of hope and the challenges. But is there anything we can do? What are we bound to offer as an effective response? What do we owe people with HIV? What are the issues facing us?
The answers to these questions depend, of course, on who and where you are. As a faith-based organization in Africa, AJAN bases its reflection about AIDS on its Christian faith. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we welcome the call to follow in His footsteps, which means giving special attention to those who are in greatest need – poor, sick, victims of injustice.
In order to act, it is necessary first to know the situation and to consider it carefully. In this section, to guide the search for greater understanding, AJAN offers some reflections by Jesuits doing AIDS ministry and extracts from Catholic Church documents about AIDS in Africa. All underline the importance of looking at AIDS holistically, as a problem requiring solutions rooted in compassion, integral development and justice, beyond linear approaches that only consider pharmaceutical solutions or individual responsibility.
Responding in charity and justice – “In the spirit of the Beatitudes, preferential attention is to be given to the poor, the hungry, the sick – for example, those with AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria – to the stranger, the disadvantaged, the prisoner, the immigrant who is looked down upon, the refugee or displaced person (cf. Mt 25:31-46)... Read More
An ethical problem – “Serious threats loom over human life in Africa… Malaria, as well as tuberculosis and AIDS, decimate the African peoples and gravely compromise their socio-economic life. The problem of AIDS, in particular, clearly calls for a medical and pharmaceutical response... Read More
Integral development and justice – “HIV/AIDS is a pandemic, together with malaria and tuberculosis, which is decimating African populations and severely damaging their economic and social life. It is not to be looked at as either a medical-pharmaceutical problem or solely as an issue of a change in human behaviour... Read More
Putting Christian love to the test – “The spirituality underlying our ministry is the conviction that AIDS is not just a medical problem for us as pastors. Its prevention and treatment, as well as the human and spiritual accompaniment of sick people, pose a pastoral problem too... Read More
Not just a medical problem – Before coming to Kenya, I thought I knew enough about AIDS especially since I had just finished studying for, taking, and passing my recertification examination in internal medicine. I knew about HIV and its effects on the immune system leading to opportunistic infections and cancers... Read More