HIV and the Church

Misinformation can needlessly give rise to fear, stigma, and unsafe practices. Despite HIV’s presence as a major public health concern for the past 3 ½ decades, there are still many prevailing myths and questions surrounding it. This has led to false information being proliferated, and has undermined the public’s ability to gain a deeper, accurate understanding of the virus. To combat confusion, we will address some of the most common myths surrounding HIV/AIDS in our “Myth v. Truth” blog series…


Myth: AIDS is only a problem in Africa

Truth: The HIV/AIDS pandemic spans the entire world


To many people in the Western world, the “face of AIDS” may be that of a young woman in sub-Saharan Africa, removed from anything that looks familiar to them. It is true that approximately 70% of all those living with HIV today are in sub-Saharan Africa. Women account for more than half of that number, and adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa are nearly three times more likely to be newly infected with HIV than boys in the same age group (15 to 19 years).

However, the diversity of people infected with HIV around the globe cannot be so succinctly stated. Though African nations do have the greatest prevalence rate of people living with HIV, one must also consider that there are people living with HIV throughout the whole world. In fact, using data collected by the World Health Organization, by combing the total number of people living with HIV in the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, and Western Pacific, there are over 11.1 million people living with HIV who do not live in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO 2015).

HIV is truly a pandemic as its spread is not bound by political or geographical borders. Its effects have reached men, women, and children in Africa and beyond. Throughout the years, the virus has broken families, created orphans, and stripped life from millions of people. However, there is hope. Incredible strides have been made throughout the world to halt the transmission of HIV and to get to zero new infections, zero children born with HIV, zero children orphaned by HIV, and zero stigma. (To learn more about the global impact of HIV/AIDS, please visit the World Health Organization’s website at

This is why the local church has a role to play in ending AIDS all over the world. With the widest geographic distribution, the largest participation, the fastest proliferation, and highest motivation for serving the sick, the Church can help provide compassion, community and real solutions on a scale no other organization can replicate. To learn more about the role of the church, check out this video, or contact us at :



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