All over the world news agencies are reporting the startling revelation that at Normandy High School in suburban St. Louis-the neighborhood I live in-students are now being tested for HIV after an infected person told health officials as many as fifty teenagers might have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS. While public officials are calling for more education, the root of the problem is profoundly moral and cultural.
School administrators have not released any details describing how the virus may have spread in the school. But we are all aware of the usual suspects: drug use and sexual activity. This is yet another item on a list of problems plaguing a district already known to be among the worst academically performing districts in Missouri and in jeopardy of losing its accreditation.
If the virus entered the high school because of sexual activity, this story will be one fundamentally about adolescent sexual morality. According to the most recent date from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 48 percent of high school students report having sex. Even worse, some 15 percent of high school students report having four or more partners. more >>
PATTAYA, Thailand – Growing up in a poor, polygamous family in Kenya, Patricia Sawo hated poverty and was desperate to escape it.
As an adult, she managed to break free from poverty only to be flung back into it when she was infected with HIV, which initially made the now evangelical pastor a social outcast.
“One of the things I started to hate at age nine was poverty,” shared Sawo, who is the HIV Ambassador for U.K.-based Tearfund as well as pastor of Deliverance Church in Kitali, Kenya, at the World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly on Tuesday. more >>
PATTAYA, Thailand - When HIV sufferers turn to the evangelical church, they are looking to reconcile with God but instead find “closed doors and angry faces,” says one Christian HIV sufferer.
Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga, a UNAIDS representative from Bolivia, was speaking at a fringe meeting of the World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly in Thailand on Saturday.
She told evangelicals there that demonstrating God’s grace and mercy were as much part of an effective evangelical response to HIV and AIDS as practical action. more >>
WASHINGTON (AP)- Experts at an early August international AIDS conference in Mexico City were full of praise for the United States for having reversed a 15-year-old law banning HIV-positive people from entering the country.
But nearly two months after President Bush signed that act into law, his administration has yet to take the steps needed to put the new law into practice, and lawmakers and advocacy groups are wondering what is going on.
"We write to encourage you to act quickly to remove HIV from the list of communicable diseases of public health significance and end the HIV travel and immigration ban," Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., main backers of the measure in the Senate, wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt last month. more >>
Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu said the Bible is the greatest weapon in the fight against injustice during a church conference on social justice.
“There’s nothing more radical, nothing more revolutionary, nothing more subversive against injustice and oppression than the Bible,” the South African archbishop said Saturday at London megachurch Jesus House For All Nations, according to co-sponsor Tearfund.
To the crowd of more than 800 U.K. church leaders, Tutu declared that the Bible has revolutionary power to free the poor as he drew from his experiences in apartheid-dominated South Africa. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Hundreds in the Los Angeles area this week will take the opportunity to walk in the steps of a child living in an AIDS-affected community in Africa through a nationally touring interactive exhibit.
“World Vision Experience: AIDS” opened its doors to the people of LA Monday, marking the beginning of the weeklong exhibit with an opening ceremony at Holman United Methodist Church.
The Los Angeles District of The United Methodist Church and World Vision Southern California are presenting the innovative exhibit from Aug. 11 to Aug. 18 in order to engage the community on the issue of how AIDS is devastating parts of Africa. more >>