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JPIC and FI Encourage AIDS Awareness

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Province’s JPIC Office is encouraging awareness of the programs and information distributed as part of World AIDS Day last week.  Documents published by Franciscans International (FI) were distributed to all JPIC local contacts, many of whom are friars, by Russ Testa, HNP’s animator for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC).

According to the flyers, which appear in both English and Spanish, members of the Franciscan family in Africa, Latin American, Asia and the Middle East are working to fight the scourge of HIV and AIDS.  Franciscans on the frontlines care for children who are orphaned, provide educational and counseling services to prevent new infections, and fight  discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS.

The flyers encourage people to take various forms of action including writing to elected representatives urging them to provide greater resources for prevention, care and treatment, and mobilizing others in the fight against HIV. Mike Perry, OFM, of FI has suggested that the World AIDS Day materials be used in parish settings during Mass, where the Peace Prayer can be prayed after Communion.

During the entire month of December, people are encouraged to mark/remember the HIV-AIDS crisis, Russ said.  AIDS is now the third largest killer disease in the world, according to Russ.

World AIDS Day 2006 was Dec. 1.