A Dublin priest recently sent me information about two priests who he says are HIV+ and claims that one may have infected the other in a sauna.
While raising serious questions about those two priests it also raises the larger topic of the number of Catholic priests (and bishops) in Ireland and world wide who are living with HIV.
Not to mention the many priests who died in the past of AIDS.
The very first priest living with HIV was in fact a priest from Larne where I live – Father Jackie White of the Kiltegan Fathers.
I only learned yesterday that Jackie White died last year of old age in London and was buried back here in Larne.
Jackie had a moment of fame in his life in 1983 when he interrupted a Vatican conference on HIV waving a big banner which read: THE CHURCH HAS AIDS.
Jackie was lucky to have lived in the age of the antroviral drugs and died of old age.
Because of these drugs HIV never turns into AIDS for most people. They are not an absolute cure – but they are a “managed cure’.
FROM ABC NEWS
“Jan. 5, 2001 — Like other Roman Catholic priests, Father Roger has taken vows of poverty, obedience and celibacy to stay pure and focused on God.
His parishioners trust Roger, who has known since grade school that he wanted to devote his life to the church.
But he’s afraid if they knew the truth about him he would lose that sacred trust.
“My ministry will not be able to continue if people knew that I was HIV-positive,” says Roger, who is gay and has broken his vows of celibacy.
Father Roger is not the only HIV-positive priest. He estimates that over the course of his ministry, he has known 15 to 20 priests who have contracted HIV through homosexual relations. Many have died.
“I’ve worked with priests who have died with AIDS,” says Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and former priest, who has spent the last 40 years researching and writing about the sexual habits of Catholic clergy. “I estimated that 750 priests had already died of AIDS,” says Sipe, who has analyzed hundreds of cases of AIDS in the priesthood, and believes that “another 750 priests carry the HIV virus’
Father Roger said that nearly 20 years ago.
GLOBAL HIV STATISTICS 2020
26 million [25.1 million–26.2 million] people were accessing antiretroviral therapy as of the end of June 2020.
38.0 million [31.6 million–44.5 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2019.
1.7 million [1.2 million–2.2 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2019.
690 000 [500 000–970 000] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2019.
75.7 million [55.9 million–100 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic (end 2019).
32.7 million [24.8 million–42.2 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic (end 2019).
People living with HIV
In 2019, there were 38.0 million [31.6 million–44.5 million] people living with HIV.
36.2 million [30.2 million–42.5 million] adults.
1.8 million [1.3 million–2.2 million] children (0–14 years).
81% [68–95%] of all people living with HIV knew their HIV status.
About 7.1 million people did not know that they were living with HIV.
People living with HIV accessing antiretroviral therapy
As of the end of June 2020, 26.0 million [25.1 million–26.2 million] people were accessing antiretroviral therapy.
In 2019, 25.4 million [24.5 million–25.6 million] people were accessing antiretroviral therapy, up from 6.4 million [5.9 million–6.4 million] in 2009.
In 2019, 67% [54–79%] of all people living with HIV were accessing treatment.
68% [54–80%] of adults aged 15 years and older living with HIV had access to treatment, as did 53% [36–64%] of children aged 0–14 years.
73% [60-86%] of female adults aged 15 years and older had access to treatment; however, just 61% [48-74%] of male adults aged 15 years and older had access.
85% [63–100%] of pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral medicines to prevent transmission of HIV to their child in 2019.
New HIV infections
New HIV infections have been reduced by 40% since the peak in 1998.
In 2019, around 1.7 million [1.2 million–2.2 million] people were newly infected with HIV, compared to 2.8 million [2.0 million–3.7 million] people in 1998.
Since 2010, new HIV infections have declined by 23%, from 2.1 million [1.6 million–2.9 million] to 1.7 million [1.2 million–2.2 million] in 2019.
Since 2010, new HIV infections among children have declined by 52%, from 310 000 [200 000–500 000] in 2010 to 150 000 [94 000–240 000] in 2019.
AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 60% since the peak in 2004.
In 2019, around 690 000 [500 000–970 000] people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, compared to 1.7 million [1.2 million–2.4 million] people in 2004 and 1.1 million [830 000 –1.6 million] people in 2010.
AIDS-related mortality has declined by 39% since 2010.