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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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News Archives » HIV/AIDS


Oblate to attend 2010 International AIDS Conference July 14th, 2010

aids_bannerThe XVIII International AIDS Conference is taking place in Vienna from July 18-23, 2010 . The Conference is a major gathering of those working in the field of HIV, government leaders, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the AIDS pandemic. It is convened by the International AIDS Society (IAS), in partnership with government, scientific and civil society partners in Austria, as well as international partners from civil society and the United Nations. It is a chance to assess the current state of affairs, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.

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Medicines Patent Pool Formally Established June 9th, 2010

UNITAID BoardThe Board of UNITAID, the European entity funded by an airline tax to support increased HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB treatment in developing countries, has formally established a Medicines Patent Pool. NGOs and faith-based shareholders concerned about access to medicines among the poor in developing countries have pressed for the formation of a patent pool as a way to lower costs and increase availability of essential medicines.

The Board approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNITAID and the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation (MPPF) on June 8. The MPPF will be established as an independent organization under Swiss Law. The 3 founders are Paulo Teixeira (Brazil), Charles Clift (UK) and Benard Pecoul (France).

Interested in learning more? Go to other posts on this website and the UNITAID website.


Cuts in International AIDS Funding Risk Lives in Africa June 4th, 2010

africamapAs international donors in HIV/AIDS funding, the U.S., World Bank, UNITAID, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, retreat from funding HIV and AIDS programs, years of progress in HIV treatment in Africa are being threatened. The lives of HIV-positive people are increasingly on the line, according to a new report by the international Non Governmental Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The report, No time to quit: HIV/AIDS Treatment Gap Widening in Africa looks at eight sub-Saharan countries. It shows how major international funding institutions such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), World Bank Treatment Acceleration Project , UNITAID, and donors to the Global Fund, decided to cap, reduce or withdraw their spending on HIV treatment over the past year and a half.

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UNITAID approves Patent Pool for HIV Medicines January 5th, 2010

pillsOn December 15, 2009 the UNITAID Board, meeting in Geneva, passed an historic resolution to create a patent pool for HIV drugs. The Oblates, with other faith-based investors  in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), are encouraging major pharmaceutical companies to engage with UNITAID in the development of a robust patent pool.

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World AIDS Day 2009 – Focus on Universal Access and Human Rights November 24th, 2009

world-aids-day-logoDecember 1st each year is World AIDS Day. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV. The global HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major health and development issue. AIDS also continues to present pastoral challenges to the Church. Missionary Oblates in South Africa are regularly working directly with and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Oblate Superior General’s Meditation: The African Synod – “A breath of fresh air” November 10th, 2009

The Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops took place in Rome on 4-25 October on the theme The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. Missionary Oblates Superior General Rev. Fr. Wilhelm Steckling OMI looked at the African Synod in his November missionary reflection statement, which we would like to share here.

Oblates have been present in Africa since Saint Eugene’s time and its importance for our Congregation keeps increasing. What do we know about Africa? While the Continent occasionally appears on the world news there is still too much silence about it. Very recently we got an opportunity to hear what our African Church leaders are saying about their Continent and I invite us all to lend them listening ears.

The first Synod for Africa was held 15 years ago. I still remember the opening ceremony, I had just settled here in Rome. As it seems, that synod was mostly a time to become acquainted. The post-synodal document, “Ecclesia in Africa”, inspired us with the image of “the Church as God’s Family” which it took “as its guiding idea for the evangelization of Africa” (EIA 63).

The “Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops” ended a week ago. It focused on “The Church in Africa in service to reconciliation, justice and peace”. Among the 240 participant bishops, eight were Oblates, and among the almost equal number of auditors, experts, fraternal delegates and helpers we had, for the first time, five of our scholastics involved, offering different services.

We will have to wait a few months for the main document to appear but the message given at the conclusion is already out. I found it particularly outspoken and striking, and to read the whole text is worthwhile. Let me highlight just a few points, in three steps. While the message tells us how the African Synod sees its continent, it may also offer us inspiration for our mission in other parts of the world.

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