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Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day

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I thought I would get on to talk about this today.  Would be a little departure from my normal musing and more on a contemplative and reflective edge.

December 1 has been dubbed World AIDS Day by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987.  Its purpose was to raise the awareness of the pandemic if HIV/AIDS on a global level.  When AIDS hit in the early 80s I was a baby.  I remember hearing about it though when there was a tennis player (Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr.) who contracted the infection through a blood transfusion.  This was my first recollection of hearing about HIV.  Well the other would have been Magic Johnson.  This for me was weird because he is a celebrity and should have know better.

However, now as I reflect upon the situation it is clear that a celebrity is no different than you or me because many of us still don't know the facts.  Research has helped our knowledge of HIV/AIDS infections tremendously since the 1980s.  Yet we find that many people still do not know exactly the correct things concerning the infection and contraction of HIV/AIDS.  I didn't know either but I thank UTCWI specifically Dr. Majorie Lewis and Dr. Guntley who were so passionate that they ensured that as many pastors who were willing would become trained HIV testing counselors.  I attended the classes and did the clinical hours and thankful that my clouds of ignorance concerning the infection are gone.

As church leaders we need to get real.  The infection is here and many people are being affected.  They may not contract an infection but lose people from it.  On this World AIDS Day I hope more church leaders would get on board.  Predominately,  we do a great job at preaching abstinenceThis is still the best way to go to avoid infection!!! But the reality is that many young persons are having their first sexual encounter as young as 9.  Also,  by the age of 17 many teens have had sexual intercourse.  (See this article in the Nassau Guardian) Young people between the ages of 15-25 are the leading groups who contract the infection and 3% of the adult populous is living with it. So would it make sense to pretend that it isn't real? Isn't our mission spiritual but with social implications?

Check out these states from the World Health Organization for the Caribbean:

 See the whole article at: http://www.avert.org/caribbean.htm

We can see that in The Bahamas we are leading the way in persons who contract HIV.  I just hope that on this day more persons would get involved in a sustainable way so that we can steam this tide and save more of our young people.  I know a few persons that died from these infections and the complications associated with them.  So until the Lord in his grace gives us a cure or provides healing.  Lets see if we can do more to avoid any more death by this pandemic.

So know your status and lets get more informed.

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