HIV and the Church

Posted by Ashley Eure

By Ashley Eure

There is good news in the global fight against HIV and AIDS. The 2014 UNAIDS Gap Report reports the lowest levels of new HIV infections at 2.1 million new infections (as estimated in 2013). New HIV infections among children in particular have fallen by 58% since 2001 and dropped below 200,000 for the first time in the 21 most affected countries in Africa.

AIDS-related deaths are also at their lowest, having declined by 35%. This progress is not universal, however, as AIDS-related deaths are on the rising in certain regions – up by 7% the Middle East and North Africa and by 5% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Despite these positive strides, many challenges remain. One is the disproportionate burden of the disease in heavily impacted countries. Just 15 countries accounted for over 75% of new infections.

In sub-Saharan Africa for example, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda account for 48% of all new HIV infections. Other countries, such as Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russian Federation and South Sudan, are being left behind in the fight against the pandemic, facing the threat of high HIV burden combined with low treatment coverage and minimal, if any, decline in new HIV infections.

The local church has an important role to play in this fight. Check out our website for information on how your church can start a ministry and learn what every believer can do to offer care, compassion and real solutions for those living with HIV and AIDS.

Visit the 2014 UNAIDS Gap Report to read the full report learn more about the statistics cited in this article.

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