Though the Church has been criticized for being late to the HIV/AIDS fight, Christians around the world are now actively working to educate people about the deadly disease and dispel dangerous myths.
In Zimbabwe, The Evangelical Alliance Mission is working to educate the youth about treatment and medicine for those infected by the HIV virus. TEAM’s effort is in response to a dangerous myth that is spreading across Africa that an HIV-positive man can be cured by having sex with a virgin. Because it is hard to find a virgin adult woman, many of these men are raping young girls and infecting them with the virus.
Mark Clark, based in TEAM’s U.S. office, calls the myth the “Great Lie” that Satan is spreading throughout the continent, according to Mission Network News. more >>
The head of the worldwide Anglican Communion has called on governments to bring hope to the world’s millions of HIV sufferers by giving them the medical help they need.
In a video released for World Aids Day, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams appealed in particular for more medical assistance to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
“We know that the transmission from mother to child is something that can be dealt with. We need to encourage all our governments to keep up their commitment to making this medical help available, and to giving hope, which we know is possible,” he said. more >>
The head of a confederation of Catholic relief, development and social service groups said Tuesday that it is a “basic human right” that children with HIV are allowed to grow up and become adults.
“[Y]et half of children with HIV die before their second birthday because they live in poor countries where access to adequate care is limited,” continued Caritas Internationalis President Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga.
“For many, the promise of universal access is coming too late.” more >>
Churches across the nation this Sunday will raise awareness of the world’s 143 million orphans as part of a concerted effort to promote adoption among believers in the pews.
"Orphan Sunday is an opportunity for believers all across America to speak for those unspoken for; those the world has forgotten,” says Vicki Mullins, director of Orphan Ministry for East-West Ministries International, in her endorsement of the annual event. “There are millions of orphans in the world. It is clear in Scripture that Jesus loved and cared for these children – how can we do any less?
Through a network of more than fifty state volunteer coordinators, the coalition behind the Orphan Sunday campaign has been helping churches, organizations and lay-leaders across the nation organize their own distinctive local events – ranging from sermons, Sunday School classes and prayer gatherings to concerts and service projects – to highlight the call to “defend the cause of the fatherless” and what ordinary Christians can do in response. more >>
Thousands of Americans are expressing outrage over a new bill in Uganda that would heavily penalize those involved in homosexuality.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently being debated, imposes punishment not only on gays and lesbians who engage in homosexual behavior, but also those who support gay organizations or who know about a homosexual and fail to report it to authorities.
"American Christians have some culpability for this situation by going to Uganda and failing to speak against this error," said Dr. Warren Throckmorton, associate professor of psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. "American Christians need to step up and speak now." more >>
The U.S. military announced earlier in the week that an HIV vaccine had cut the infection rate by 30 percent in a trial with 16,000 people in Thailand.
The Rev. Dr. Robin Hill, convener of the Church of Scotland’s HIV/AIDS Project, said the breakthrough appeared to be “very significant” but warned that there was still a long way to go before a complete cure would be found.
“Although still a long way off, the theoretical possibility of an effective vaccine is one which will excite great interest across the globe,” he said. "No miracle outcome is promised and, as yet, the threat posed by the virus remains very real, at home and abroad. more >>