HIV and the Church

Written by: Elizabeth Styffe RN MN Global Director Saddleback Church HIV & Orphan Care Initiatives

Children Are Affected When Mom is Positive

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.  The study describes that children are also at increased risk for sexual exploitation and early sexual debut when a mother is too ill to protect and care for them. In every arena, children suffer because of HIV.[1]

What can be done to provide hope and healing for mothers and children infected or affected by HIV?   At Saddleback, we care about mothers and their children infected and affected by HIV. PEACE teams travel to help local churches come alongside mothers and children.  They help churches provide HIV testing and guide mothers into early treatment.  Church-based health care workers volunteer to check on the mother’s health and help with HIV medications.  Ordinary members of Saddleback Church work with local churches,   providing training to youth on how to prevent HIV. 

The Bible says, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” (Luke 4:18)  You are invited to join a PEACE team that helps women living with HIV and their children.  For more information on joining a PEACE trip;


[1], Consequences of Adult HIV for Affected Children: Modelling the Impact (September 2014)

Consequences of Adult HIV for Affected Children: Modelling the Impact (September 2014) 

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