Our Order was able to develop because it knew how to respond to the pressing and urgent needs of European society during the sixteenth century. Its growth was made possible, and this will always be the case, by a capacity to identify and respond to contemporary needs.
The ‘slimming disease’ as AIDS is commonly called offers the Order some of its greatest challenges. The constantly updated statistics throw light on the breadth of the problem. It is estimated that in Africa alone there are forty million people infected with the virus, with in some countries 40% of the population afflicted by it. And it is not only the poorest countries that are afflicted.
In the face of this epidemic, the response organised by the Camillian world has been varied and qualified. From Rayong in Thailand to Jinja in Uganda; from Karungu in Kenya to Lima in Peru; from Dar es Salam in Tanzania to Warsaw in Poland; from the CANDAF and the Medical Centre of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Mangano (CT) in Sicily; in India and in Vietnam, without mentioning the various ‘Tents of Christ’ in North Italy, Brazil and Mexico, the Camillians have been involved at every level– the medical, the nursing, the pastoral and the scientific – in the fight against this scourge.
Most of the centres have Camillians involved in a very active and practical way through direct assistance, above all else at the terminal stage of this illness
There are, however, brothers involved in education on the basis of the principle that prevention is better than cure. Lastly, there are also Camillians involved in scientific research in order to make a contribution that can break the chain of the advance of this syndrome.