HIV and the Church

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    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....
    Timothy Ray Brown came to Saddleback this World AIDS Day. Timothy, the only person ever confirmed to be cured of HIV infection after 40 years of this plague. Tim Brown, known to every person with AIDS, every doctor around the world fighting this miserable plague, as the “Berlin Patient” after one of the most daring medical procedures in history, a procedure which cured him of HIV after being diagnosed with an AIDS related cancer that was threatening his life. ...
    Why World AIDS Day matters more then ever this year The first thing I learned when I became a Christian less then 7 years ago was that watching TV can be a problem. One of the few indulgences I allow myself is cable TV, so I can watch C-Span and CNBC for my work. Except for a very few Christian broadcasts, most of what ‘s on TV doesn’t help to make our faith stronger, our understanding of the Word greater or our hearts more open to God’s interest in our lives....


     
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