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The Church in Africa can do more to check the spread of HIV/AIDS
on the continent, an expert working with AIDS orphans in Nairobi has said.

Fr Angelo D’Agostino, SJ, MD, founder and Director of Nyumbani Home for HIV-positive orphans in Nairobi, said this
on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at the launch of three videos on HIV/AIDS, published by Paulines Audiovisuals Africa. The ceremony, attended by about 60 guests, was held at the Paulines’ complex, Riverside,

Fr D’Agostino acknowledged that though there is no cure for AIDS yet, “we can control it.”

“In the twenty years I have been here in Africa,” he said, “I have seen
the spectre of AIDS raise its ugly head higher and higher.”

He said since “the vast majority of cases are contracted by sexual contact in less than legitimate circumstances,” this made it a
moral problem as well.

“The most moral thing to do is to avoid getting it,” he said. “But until now, there has been, to my knowledge, no widespread, concerned, effective program of
prevention by the Church in Kenya.”

He, however, commended “the large Eastern Deanery [AIDS] program [of the Archdiocese of Nairobi], the many programs in Western Kenya, Nyumbani, etc,
[that] have made significant strides in caring for those infected.”

Fr D’Agostino also gave the good example of Sr Mariam Duggan of Uganda, who, “single-handedly . spearheaded a broad
program for youth,” which helped to bring down the incidence of HIV in Uganda.

He said “it is the duty of the Church to educate the faithful to the pitfalls of immoral behavior. But when we
talk of the Church and AIDS, we really mean the Church in Africa, because some 75% of all AIDS cases are in Sub-Saharan Africa today.”

Each of the three videos comes with a study guide
giving 11-15 pages of very useful information about HIV/AIDS. These guides, besides giving specific details of the particular tape, also offer between them information on the needs of a person living with
HIV/AIDS; dispelling popular myths about AIDS; voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT); home-based care; sex, love and virginity; and reasons for chastity. Other issues tackled in these booklets
include the dignity of the human body and the mode of transmission of HIV, and how one can prevent infection.

The videos are:

1. WHY ME? -AIDS, a Call to Love (40 min)

This video highlights the plight of the person living with AIDS. It shows the significance of support from family, friends and the entire community in providing proper life (good food, medicine, etc).

Price KShs 500/- (about US$ 7)

2. THINK! Sex or Love? (20 minutes)

A group of young men and women discuss a number of issues that plague the youth today, such as:

  • “Are you old-fashioned for wanting to wait until marriage to have sex?”

  • “How do you expect to find your one true love if you do not play the field?”

  • “Everyone else has sex, why should I wait?”

The video is also available in Kiswahili as _FIKIRI! NGONO AU UPENDO?_

Price KShs 500/- (about US$ 7)

3. BE AFRAID… Be Very Afraid (30 min)

The film begins with the sad reality of AIDS – death. The tragedy of Paula – dying so young…

It gives the facts on the transmission and effects of AIDS and affirms the ONLY sure
preventive measure…

Price KShs 500/- (about US$ 7)

Besides the Catholic Bookshop in Nairobi, the videos are also already available at the Paulines’ outlets or Catholic
bookshops in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Kampala (Uganda), Lusaka (Zambia), Lagos (Nigeria) and Johannesburg (South Africa). Portuguese and French translations will be available soon.

Framework for the Response of a University to HIV/AIDSThe Mandate of a University

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