HIV and the Church

    // From the Blog

    He didn’t ever expect to find himself in this cruel situation. Sitting in the waiting room, he nervously kept one eye on the door, ready to bolt at any time. Uneasiness was a fire in his bones, so much so he no longer felt comfortable in his own skin. The thought of telling someone, of actually speaking the dreaded words to another person, caused a wave of shame that threatened to silence him even further. That’s why he came alone....
    ?Laurence is a 17-year-old girl living with HIV in Rwanda. Laurence’s parents died when she was just two years old, and she was sent to live in an orphanage. For fifteen lonely years, Laurence didn’t have access to the care she needed, and at times, the painful skin condition she developed from her disease kept her out of school and isolated from other children in the orphanage. ...
    Stigma is a Greek word with a nasty history. It means a “brand” or “mark,” usually inflicted with a hot iron. Stigma is also a mark of disgrace or infamy—a sign of stain or reproach. Stigma is not limited to physical injury, but wounds, inflicts pain, and causes scars on the hearts and minds of its victims. Stigma is why many people living with HIV&AIDS form their own communities and fear engaging the larger culture and church....
    A new report has been released highlighting the effects of HIV on children whose mother is living with HIV. Sadly, the report by the PEPFAR Orphans and Vulnerable Children Technical Working group, in partnership with Management Sciences for Health and the Human Sciences Research Council confirms that children are at serious risk for adverse emotional, physical and developmental outcomes when their mom is living with HIV. Even in areas with high treatment, 16% of children will, by age 18, be orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS. The report also found a significant decrease in the graduation rates and higher incidences of anxiety and depression. ...


     
    // Featured Story

    Dave Storm shares his story of finding out he was HIV-positive and how he felt it was easier to lie about his illness than face the stigma and judgment from others. Dave didn’t start feeling truly accepted until he spoke for the first time on his diagnosis at Saddleback Church. To watch Dave's story click  HERE