MOSCOW -- The Russian Orthodox Church launched a program Tuesday
to help stem Russia's snowballing HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Government and UN officials praised the initiative while others
criticized the church, saying action was long overdue.
The church prevention program calls for teaching to discourage
sex with multiple partners and gay sex, practices the church
regards as sinful and that may lead to infection.
In addition, priests and other church workers are instructed to
treat people infected with HIV/AIDS "as any other person
suffering from some serious illness" and are encouraged to