World Aids Day 2008

Every year, we set aside December 1st to observe World Aids Day.  On this 20th Anniversary, South Africa marked the day with 15 minutes of silence in an effort to combat the spread of HIV. South Africa has over 5.5 million cases of HIV and AIDS, the largest percentage in the world.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). By killing or damaging cells of the body’s immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers.

Over one million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS today. Worldwide, the figure is over 33 million. Effective HIV care—including antiretroviral drug therapies and regular access to primary health care—can help people manage their HIV disease and live longer.  While AIDS is primarily associated with the homosexual population in the United States, it is primarily (95%) a heterosexual disease in the rest of the world.

The Christian response must be loving and compassionate. We must do something more than open our Bibles, denounce sexual immorality and hurry down the street. In Africa, AIDS is a modern leprosy. Christians are required to express God’s loving mercy. While it is easy to selectively denounce sin in others, it makes Christians, and Jesus appear unloving to those with AIDS as well as those in the gay/lesbian community. We are all broken and require grace in light of our sin. (1 Timothy 1:9-11)

Take a moment to pray. Then rise from your knees and take action. Any action. Make a donation. Visit a hospital. Comfort a family.

Do something to express the love of Jesus to individuals and families afflicted by AIDS and HIV.