HIV and the Church

Posted by David Miller

There Angels Wept | By David Miller

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.

World AIDS Day doesn’t get much attention anymore in the news, even though tens of millions of lives, the fate of millions of orphans around the world and the stability of some nations hangs in the balance, even though there is now more hope that a cure can be found for the worst plague in modern history, World AIDS Day came and went this year without a lot of attention in the media.

Except at Saddleback Church.

At Saddleback Church, the only person ever confirmed to be cured of HIV infection, following a dramatic, bold medical experiment came to speak. Kay Warren and so many others made Timothy Ray Brown, dubbed “the Berlin Patient” by the media, a feature of the program.

There are tens of thousands of churches in America, all of whom know, to one degree or another what’s happened over the thirty years as millions of people continued to disappear, as AIDS burned through our poorest communities, through the lives of friends, neighbors and relatives. Many have done as much as they could following Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Even angels would have wept on World AIDS Day as Saddleback Church gave a sense of hope that there can be an end to the defining plague of our time as Timothy Ray Brown spoke about how he had been cured, about his foundation and about the challenge ahead of us to bring a cure to the tens of millions of people trying to survive the AIDS crisis.

Kay Warren told those gathered about her journey to becoming an AIDS activist, about how she heard God telling her to do something about the suffering HIV is causing worldwide.

Maybe World AIDS Day wasn’t the lead story this December 1st on TV, in the newspaper, on the Internet. But at Saddleback, when Timothy and Kay, when other people, infected and orphaned by HIV told their stories, to embrace in the hope of a cure and a global movement by churches to do whatever they can in His name, to change the course of the AIDS crisis.


David Miller is an AIDS treatment activist, living in the South Bronx. David is a member of the Cornell Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group Community Advisory Board, The Development Director of the World AIDS Institute and writes for A&U magazine, and blogs for the HIV&AIDS Initaitive. David is a long term survivor and a veteran of ACT UP NY. 


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