World AIDS Day

Today is the observance of World AIDS Day.

We’ve been observing this day for so long, I don’t know what to say that I haven’t said fifty times before.

I could talk about my many friends and colleagues who are HIV+ or who have sero-converted and have full-blown AIDS. I could talk about my friends who work in AIDS clinics and other AIDS organizations, supporting people who are HIV+ or living with AIDS (PWAs). I could talk about the effects of HIV/AIDS around the world, how it devastates communities, regions, and nations, leaving a younger generation to fend for themselves. I could talk about how the highest increase in rate of infection is among black women. I could take on the whole controversy about the “down low” or the one on abstinence education.

Or I could put a cheerier face on it, and talk about the medications developed in recent years, that make it possible to really live with AIDS. I could mention the many agencies that have been created specifically for PWAs. I could say that most cities now have policies in place to care for residents who are HIV+/PWAs, if not speciality AIDS clinics in city hospitals, and that AIDS patients are no longer relegated to the back rooms of hospitals.

But I’m tired. Tired of hearing that AIDS is a “gay” disease, an “African” disease, a “white” disease, a “city” disease—in other words, not “our” problem, whoever “we” are. I’m tired of hearing that conditions are beyond repair in parts of Africa; tired of hearing that “we can’t talk about condoms, the government will shut us down;” tired of hearing that needle exchanges encourage drug use.

It’s way beyond time to stop finger pointing, stop arguing over whose “fault” the high rate of infections is, stop denying reality, and get some of God’s work done—comfort the afflicted, heal the sick, support the dying—to love one another as Christ loved us.

Never forget those we have lost; never give up working to support PWAs; never give up working for a cure.

Comments

rev maria said…
Rainbow Pastor, I feel your pain. I'm tired, too, of watching people die because of ignorance and lack of caring. I lost 3 dear friends to that disease. The first church member I buried as a new pastor was a young gay man with AIDS.

But even though I take AIDS very personally, sometimes I'm guilty of forgetting too. There is just so much going on and so many cries for help ringing in my head. . .

This morning an 81-year old social justice activist at my church had to remind me to send an email to all our members reminding them that today is World AIDS day with links to Church World Service and Human Rights Campaign
Sue said…
Things are better for PWA's than they were back in the mid to late 80s when I was more involved with AIDS advocacy, but there is still so much to do. Thank you for posting this reminder that we must never lose sight of the goal - a cure.
Sally said…
"It’s way beyond time to stop finger pointing, stop arguing over whose “fault” the high rate of infections is, stop denying reality, and get some of God’s work done—comfort the afflicted, heal the sick, support the dying—to love one another as Christ loved us"

AMEN!

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