Friday, January 12, 2007

Catholic Charities USA's Anti-Poverty Campaign

From Catholic Online:
[..] Poverty in the United States is a moral and social wound to the nation, a human-made unnatural disaster that cries out change, said a report from a Catholic and one of the country’s largest social service networks.

"Poverty in America: A Threat to the Common Good," the title of the 28-page Catholic Charities USA policy paper released at a Jan. 10 press briefing on Capital Hill here, provides a “moral reasoning” to the call to fight poverty, offers specific public policy changes to reduce it and argues for a society-wide commitment to action.

[..] There has been a conscious and deliberate retreat from our nation’s commitment to economic justice for those who are poor,” it says. “Poverty remains our nation’s most serious political blind spot and one of our nation’s most profound moral failing,” seen in the faces of infants, children and elderly, urban and rural dwellers, the working poor, those with limited economic opportunity, the homeless, veterans, immigrants and refugees.
From a press release:
"The Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America is about who we are as a nation," Father Snyder said. [referring to Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA] "We must no longer ignore the injustice of poverty and the extreme inequality in America and instead must seize this opportunity to advocate for changes that promote human dignity and the common good," he said.

The poverty report pointed to the “growing gap between the haves and have-nots,” citing statistics that indicated the United States “had not seen such extreme inequality since the 1920s.” [..]

[..] "Catholic Charities USA pledges its experience and resources to help reduce poverty in America. But, we can only succeed with the active involvement of Congress and the Administration. Only through partnerships between government and community leaders like Catholic Charities, will we develop the capacity and the scale necessary to attack poverty in a comprehensive and sustained way," said Father Snyder.

This faith-based approach runs parallel to the plan of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards, who outlined a plan to end poverty in the United States within 30 years, last June. June 22, 2006: See John Edwards to Outline Plan to End Poverty at National Press Club Today
He will outline his plan to cut poverty by one third within a decade, lifting 12 million Americans out of poverty by 2016, and to end poverty within 30 years, lifting 37 million Americans out of poverty by 2036.

Senator Edwards will also discuss the creation of a working society for the 21st century. In the Working Society, Senator Edwards believes that everyone who is willing to work hard will be expected to work and, in turn, be rewarded for it. He will outline his initiative which includes major new policies in the areas of work, housing, education, savings, and family responsibility.
The Speech can be read HERE.

Senator Edwards understands that there are "two Americas" and that government cannot solve the issue of Poverty alone. We all must do our part - individual citizens, American business, charities, and faith-based organizations. We each must play our unique part if we want to change this country. The news from Catholic Charities is encouraging because it shows how, in leaders like Senator Edwards, we are finding a moral compass that has been missing from American leadership.

- U.S. poverty moral wound to nation’s soul, Catholic Charities report says

- Catholic Charities vows to cut poverty in half by 2020

- Press Release

- Pope Benedict XVI Speaks on Poverty:
Here is a translated text of excerpts from the Papal message given today at the Pope's traditional new-year meeting with local civil officials. On hand were Piero Marrazzo, president of the Latium region; Walter Veltroni, mayor of Rome; and Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome.
Pope: poverty is problem for all

"The suffering man belongs to us.

Every suffering man belongs to the Church and, at the same time, to all brothers in humanity.

He belongs, therefore, and in a specific way, also to your responsibility as public administrators.

We need to encourage cooperation between ecclesial bodies and your administrations with the objective of alleviating and going out to meet the many forms of poverty, economic but also human and relational, which afflict a notable number of people and families, especially among immigrants.

There is, moreover, the enormous area of health care, which calls for considerable and coordinated effort to assure all those who suffer from physical or psychic illnesses immediate and adequate treatments. [..]

[..] Politicians should have willingness to foster this cooperation ... will surely help the whole population."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

International Carnival of the Pozitivities #7

Welcome to the 7th Edition of The International Carnival of the Pozitivities

We begin this 7th edition of ICOP by revealing the spirit by which the Carnival itself was born. In 21 Years of Knowledge that I am HIV+, Ron Hudson of 2sides2ron tells you about himself and his reasons for creating the ICOP.

Ron writes:

Today is the 21st anniversary of having learned my HIV status in 1985. It was a different time then, but stigma, fear and ignorance still surround HIV/AIDS. I am trying to help change that by talking openly and honestly about my situation and by encouraging others to do so as well.

In June of this year, I founded the International Carnival of Pozitivities (ICP) to help bring HIV/AIDS back into the forefront of discussion. This forum is a place to learn the truth about HIV/AIDS, its prevention, treatment and direction.
I joining enigma4ever in thanking Ron and sending him many healing thoughts: have taken good care of yourself and others, and I can only hope and pray that the Next Regime will treat People and our Young with more respect and Truth, and recognize AIDS as the Health Crisis it is....Bless you or sharing your path with us and helping us learn more...Namaste.


CDC Chatter has posted an article seen in the Bucks County Courier Times in Pennslyvania written by Emanuel Stanley, a Disease Intervention Specialist for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The title is The Monster is on the Attack: AIDS ravishes Minority Communities. Dedicated public health servants, in pledging to uphold their mission of "Early Detection, Intervention and Prevention of Disease Transmission, Disability and Death," are frustrated and concerned about African-American and Latino females who are contracting HIV at a high and disproportionate rate in America. Mr. Stanley explains how public health departments must redirect their efforts in order to lower the level of the ever-growing pool of undetected infections, including recognizing that what goes on in our prison system increases the contracting and the spreading of HIV/AIDS to heterosexual females:
With the advent of African-American and Latino females becoming the number one population demographic contracting HIV and eventually dying from AIDS, public health departments around this nation will have to redirect their efforts, via partner notification and other disease control measures, to help curtail this exponentially driven threat. More federal funding will also be necessary to protect the unknowing and unsuspecting female from becoming infected or at least to be notified in a timely fashion about their possible exposure to this deadly virus. This is a "Right to Know" and a "Right to Exist" issue.
An interesting discussion follows, icluding the fact that US. House Rep. Henry Waxman, Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Government Reform's Minority Office, has requested an explanation of why the CDC has failed to update the Compendium of HIV Prevention Interventions with an Evidence of Effectiveness document. The Compendium, a key compilation of evidence-based prevention measures, has not been updated since its 1999 release, although government experts have identified multiple new proven programs.


Laura Finley talks about Women And HIV/AIDS in Africa at The AIDS Pandemic. Here are just some of the many facts she provides:
Globally, women now constitute 48% of the HIV positive population. 76% of these HIV positive women live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where women account for 59% of adults living with HIV.

The rising rates of HIV infection in women and young girls is directly related to their inferior social, economic, and legal status in this region of the world.

Violence against women, whether in the context of rape or sexual abuse, is a significant factor in the propagation of HIV in women.

Antiretroviral treatment is now available to 1.3 million people, representing a significant increase in just a few years. Still, ARVs are only available to 17% of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa who need them.
Laura says that, thankfully, "there are feasible steps that can be taken to empower women and address the issues that make them vulnerable to HIV infection." She outlines some of them for us.


In an article he's written for titled Bush, the Democrats, and AIDS, Doug Ireland of Direland says that we are losing the fight against the AIDS pandemic, in part, due to too many years of George W. Bush and the Republican-led Congress and that it's time for the Democrats to repair some of the damage.

AIDS prevention education has suffered due to the Bush policy restrictions that are undermining AIDS education and prevention. He forwards hope that Rep Barbara Lee's reintroducing of the PATHWAY Act (Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women And Youth) will result in ensuring that all those who are sexually active are taught how to practice safe sex���and that includes using condoms.

Doug walks us through some recent history regarding another critical problem that has undermined the 2005 G8 summit meeting goals of universal access to treatment for AIDS by 2010. He shows how the Bush administration has been, behind closed doors, "sabotaging the ability of the world's poorest countries to produce or buy cheap, generic AIDS medications."


At The Nata village blog, Melody and Martha tell us a New billboard in Nata advertising a new campaign that The National AIDS Coordinating Agency has rolled out to encourage fathers to get tested along with their pregnant partners.

From the website:
Overall, men are dying at a faster rate than women as they are not testing and taking ARV's at the same rate as women. In the past, the PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission) program has been geared to women.

Last February, a blogger named Marianna offered to us some facts about HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan, as best as she could gather them, at a post titled Situation with HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan at the New Eurasia website.
Official statistics on HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan claims that over 700 people were infected and 60 died by early 2005. However, experts say the figures are woefully under-reported. And it may be true: the CIA World Factbook listed 1,400 HIV/AIDS infected people in Azerbaijan back in 2003. Half of them, according to the United Nations Development Program���s data, are drug addicts; 25% have been infected through sexual intercourse. Men constitute 70% of this relatively young group, predominantly ages 30 to 39.
She explained how the government has introduced praiseworthy initiatives to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, but she also reveals, sadly, that the government has failed to back them up with substantial budgetary allocations. She also pointed out that the citizens of Azerbaijan have a long way to go to fully understand how the disease is spead and what can be done to prevent it:
Materials released at the XIV International Conference on AIDS held in Spain in 2002 acknowledged that less than 60% of survey respondents in Azerbaijan were aware of the disease and the ways to prevent it. Up to 98% of young women in the country held major misconceptions about HIV/AIDS.
Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
HIV/AIDS is rapidly spreading through countries of this region,
which is now experiencing the fastest-growing epidemic in the world.


The Dreamer is asking for prayers and healing energy at his blog Nightmare Hall - Welcome to my nightmare. He had to have back surgery in November and he's still healing. was interesting that all of the doctors and nurses who made the rounds while I was in the hospital were amazed tnat I've been living with HIV for so many years and have remained as healthy as I have. They're even more shocked and amazed that I've been off all HIV meds for 16 months and still coasting along fine. A few have asked what I attribute this to and I tell them, dumb luck, genetics, taking care of myself, being aware of and listening to my body, doing my own research (on the web) plus taking the law into my own hands as far as medical treatment goes.
In this post, he talks about how to choose a doctor, especially when you're living HIV+.

My healing thoughts and prayers are with you, Dreamer.


There's a lot we can learn from Japan, says JP at Japundit, and one of those lessons is about the new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who recently donned a pair of red Giorgio Armani sunglasses given to him by rockstar Bono for the media cameras. [Part of the profits from the Red-brand sunglasses are donated to AIDS programs].


LeVoyd Carter's HIV/AIDS - Pestilence Within Our Land �� Blogswana is a must read call to action at the Blogswana blog. He was inspired by the ABC Primetime news special titled, ���Out of Control: AIDS in Black America." The research for this special was initiated by the late Peter Jennings. Mr. Carter asks this of you:
Please make a decision to make a difference by passing this important message and link on to at least five (5) people - NOW
He includes a list of...

Important Links Related to HIV/AIDS

Afraid to Ask

AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGIS)


AIDS Survival Project

AIDS Treatment Data Network

AIDS Treatment Initiatives (ATI)

American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR)

American Social Health Association Resource Center

Body, The


ChildKind, Inc.

Correctional HIV Consortium

Critical Path AIDS Project

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Emory/Atlanta Center for AIDS Research

Families USA

GA Division of Public Health (DHR)

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)

Gender and HIV/AIDS

Global Campaign for Microbicides

Hepatitis Information (American Liver Foundation)


Internationa Association of Physicians in AIDS Care


Kaiser Family Foundation

Medscape HIV/AIDS

NAMES Project

National AIDS & Education Services for Minorities

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Minority AIDS Council

National Tuberculosis Center Information Line

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

POZ Magazine

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US

Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center

Straight But Not Narrow

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Until There’s A Cure



Kelly is one of 324 South Carolinians on a list that was started in July after federal funding was cut for South Carolinians who needed financial assistance for expensive AIDS medications. Most people would agree that nobody in a country as rich as ours should have to wait to receive life-saving medication. At the Blog To End AIDS, Angie reveals how the federal government has cut funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and how tebh State of South Carolina is woefully short on its appropriations for HIV/AIDS programs. According to Angie, the DHEC [Department of Health and Environmental Control] is working with patient assistance groups, thankfully, to get people like Kelly the medicine they needand will soon ask the General Assembly for $5 million in funding to help patients on the list.

Kelly - you are in my healing thoughts and prayers.


In November, Ron Brynaert of Raw Story wrote an article which pointed out "a study conducted by an international Christian child development organization finds that many Americans are ambivalent about the world's HIV/AIDS crisis, with nearly two-fifths admitting to having difficulty sympathizing with victims."

While roughly one out of seven Americans (15 percent) said they donated in 2005 to an organization specifically to address the HIV/AIDS crisis, only 8 percent said that they have a compassionate attitude toward HIV/AIDS victims and have donated to the cause.

Fifty-two percent admitted to being unengaged with the HIV/AIDS crisis, expressing conflicting, neutral or undecided views and behaviors related to addressing the issue, according to the press release.

At 2sides2ron, guest writer Royce Hardin, returns this month to contribute a poem that he just penned titled Weakness' Temptation. Ron says that he hopes you will welcome Royce's work with praise and feedback. The poem begins...

Give me strength
To keep my life whole
To journey with grace
The twisting hilly miles

Give me strength
To keep myself upright
With dignity
To honor love, life, calmness and truth....


Ron Hudson [2sides2ron] hosts the powerful words of a gifted poet who has dedicated his poem to the great actor and director of Chilean theatre, Andr��s P��rez, who died of AIDS on 3 January 2002.

See Ya Eres Todo Un Muerto by Guest Poet Mario Mel��ndez of Chile

[Translation: You Are Already Completely Dead]

Mario has agreed to participate in the International Carnival of Pozitivities as the first contributor from South America. Ron first "met" Mario a couple of years ago when he was asked to translate Mario's poetry for the Other Voices Poetry Project. Since then, Ron has been working with Mario to translate a number of additional poems that should soon be available in print.