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Holy See Promotes Values-Based Response to AIDS. Affirms Effectiveness of Moral Law Approach

NEW YORK, JUNE 10, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The fight against AIDS must address the deepest causes of the disease's spread through value-based behavioral education, says the permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations. 

Archbishop Celestino Migliore stated this Wednesday before the plenary of the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly on the topic of HIV/AIDS. 

"If AIDS is to be combated by realistically facing its deeper causes and the sick are to be given the loving care they need, we need to provide people with more than knowledge, ability, technical competence and tools," he stated.

"For this reason," the prelate continued, "my delegation strongly recommends that more attention and resources be dedicated to support a value-based approach grounded in the human dimension of sexuality, that is to say, a spiritual and human renewal that leads to a new way of behaving toward others."

"The spread of AIDS can be stopped effectively," he asserted, "as has been affirmed also by public health experts, when this respect for the dignity of human nature and for its inherent moral law is included as an essential element in HIV prevention efforts."

The archbishop underlined the "significant engagement of Catholic Church sponsored organizations in providing care in all parts of the world for those with HIV/AIDS."

In that regard, he observed that "the global community continues to be confronted by many obstacles in its efforts to respond adequately to this problem."

For example, Archbishop Migliore reported, "7,400 people become infected with HIV every day," almost "4 million people are currently receiving treatment, while 9.7 million people are still in need of such life-saving and life-prolonging interventions," and "for every two people who commence treatment, five more become infected."

He pointed out that "children living with HIV or HIV/TB co-infection" are "particularly vulnerable."

"In the face of the ongoing threat of HIV and AIDS," the prelate stated, "we must acknowledge the demands of the human family for worldwide solidarity, for honest evaluation of past approaches that may have been based more on ideology than on science and values, and for determined action that respects human dignity and promotes the integral development of each and every person and of all society."