Pope Benedict XVI said we can't win the battle against AIDS—a major cause of poverty—without addressing the underlying social issues surrounding it, reports zenit.org. He made the remarks December 11 in a message for World Peace Day, to be observed January 1.

“First and foremost, educational campaigns are needed, aimed especially at the young, to promote a sexual ethic that fully corresponds to the dignity of the person; initiatives of this kind have already borne important fruits, causing a reduction in the spread of AIDS,” the Pope said.

In his speech, titled “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace,” Benedict XVI also proposes the country increase access to health services for people living with HIV/AIDS. “The necessary medicines and treatment must be made available to poorer people as well. This presupposes a determined effort to promote medical research and innovative forms of treatment, as well as flexible application, when required, of the international rules protecting intellectual property, so as to guarantee necessary basic health care to all people.”