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 >>
The Church must lead in transforming social attitudes about gender inequality as part of the fight against HIV/AIDS, said a Christian agency on the closing day of the 17th International AIDS Conference.
“There is a desperate need for the leadership of the Church to smarten up to gender-related issues like violence and issues of power and control,” said Tearfund’s chief executive Matthew Frost on Friday. “Gender inequality is one of the key drivers of the pandemic. The Church is in a key position to transform attitudes within the community. It cannot remain silent.”
Lyn Lusi, who works with women affected by sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said gender inequalities leave women “disempowered” and more vulnerable to violence, including rape. more >>
Prominent church leaders and HIV/AIDS experts agreed Tuesday that partnerships among different sectors of society is the best way forward in the battle against history’s deadliest disease.
"After 25 years, HIV is still a new disease, and we need new strategies, tools and programs," said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, executive secretary of the National AIDS Control Commission of Rwanda, at a panel discussion for the XVII International AIDS Conference.
"This is all about partnership, and if we partner it is because we are different, not because we are the same." more >>
The faith community will continue to advocate for the lifting of travel restrictions on people living with HIV until the rule is removed worldwide, vowed religious leaders at the 17th International AIDS Conference.
“For both the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and the Lutheran World Federation this (travel restrictions on HIV+ people) is both an issue of faith and of human rights,” said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of ELCA and president of LWF on Monday.
“As a religious leader, I am convinced that lifting discriminatory travel restrictions is a responsible act of justice and mercy. Most of those restrictions are born out of fear and ignorance,” Hanson said. more >>