God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

21.07.2010 Thoughts about Vienna and the International AIDS Conference

In two days the International AIDS Conference is history again and I am sure once again we will not have reached the goal of the conference as it has been also the case for the previous conferences. Who does not remember the “Access for all” slogan -to be reached by 2010.. We have 2010 and even as we have made great progress.. we have a long way to go to reach the “Access for all – Treatment for all” goal.

Bill Clinton made it in his speech clear that in the times, where financial promises are emptied by the so-called circumstances that on the other hand too many people fly to too many conferences. I must admit that I am often also amazed how many people attending from one organisation and how many see such conferences as their chance to go on an oversea trip. I am not sure that the way, the conference is organised and the millions on sponsor money is spent to fly people from so many different backgrounds to one venue – the lady looking after a vegetable project and the highly skilled researcher – and when I see the first sitting in a talk given by the latter:  not sure it makes sense or has any meaning.
On the other hand, yes, it is an opportunity to network, seen and be seen and somehow I have the impression, lots of small NGO”s draw part of their pride to have a stall at the Global Village and some photographic memories. And this has its own rights, as many for the first time understand the scale of engagement worldwide.

So I don’t have plan B to suggest how to organise such a conference in a way which does not waste too much sponsor money – lack of resources let people die..  and we as activists cannot blame pharmaceutical companies and politicians if we don’t reflect on how we organise ourselves.

The main topic this time is human rights and HIV / AIDS. There is indeed a lot to do. And here are also the churches asked to contribute more, they see themselves in our days as advocates for human rights, but here it gets tricky: gender equality, homosexuality, sexual behaviour and culture are only some to the topics which make it difficult for some churches to engage in a more decisive way for the good of those, whose human rights are at stake.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, , , , ,

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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