HIV and the Church

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    Christians have sometimes referred to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as “GC2.” They are the most important words Jesus ever spoke and the transformative basis of living out a Gospel that cares for the sick, specifically for people living with HIV&AIDS and their families and friends. ...
    It’s a dream we never thought we’d realize—a fantasy we dared not entertain. But now, this hopeful goal is both within the grasp of imagination and the scope of reality! Imagine, a world “Getting to Zero!” A planet virtually absent of new cases of HIV&AIDS; absent of HIV&AIDS related deaths; and absent of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV&AIDS!...
    The XIX International AIDS Conference this past summer reaffirmed HIV is a disease of exceptionalism. Kay Warren said on World AIDS Day that no other disease carries the same level of stigma. Women aren’t beaten to death because they develop breast cancer and cancer centers are never targeted for vandalism. The history of the AIDS crisis is rife with events like this - irrational fears based on ignorance and cruelty....
    The College Ministry had the incredible privilege of partnering with Saddleback’s HIV&AIDS Initiative to promote World AIDS Day and Compassion Weekend at Saddleback Church. On December 1 and 2nd the entire weekend experience was devoted to the HIV&AIDS crisis, God’s heart for the sick, and the “Getting to Zero” campaign, which seeks to get to zero babies born with HIV, zero stigma and discrimination attached to HIV&AIDS, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero children in Rwandan orphanages by 2015. We invited our students to several meetings leading up to our campus outreach to get their input into things, help them understand more about HIV&AIDS, and give them ownership over our outreach activities. These meetings helped spark tons of creative ideas and built excitement and momentum leading up to World AIDS Day and Compassion Weekend, plus we were able to plan out what our strategy to promote World AIDS Day looked like on local community college campuses....


     
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