Pope Discusses HIV, TB, Malaria in Annual Peace Address
Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday during his annual peace address discussed HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and said that the three diseases are a common cause of poverty, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 12/11).
Benedict in his address, titled "Fighting Poverty To Build Peace," added that HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria are a "significant factor in the overall deterioration of conditions" in countries affected by the diseases and that efforts to address the diseases "do not always achieve significant results" (Pope Benedict XVI speech text, 12/11). Benedict criticized global efforts to address the three diseases, saying, "It happens that countries afflicted by some of these pandemics find themselves held hostage, when they try to address them, by those who make economic aid conditional upon the implementation of anti-life policies" (Agence France-Presse, 12/11).
The pope also said it will be hard to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS "unless the moral issues connected with the spread of the virus are also addressed." He called for education for young people and increased access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria for low-income people (Pope Benedict XVI speech text, 12/11).