World AIDS Day was observed on December 1, 2010. Though the day has come and gone it is never too late to consider our role and our responsibility in the face of the stigmatizing and fatal disease of HIV/AIDS.
Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori set two priorities for those who would follow Christ:
The first priority: continue to advocate forcefully for government investment in the fight against AIDS both here and abroad….
The second priority: Episcopalians must continue to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS within our own communities….
Do pray for those who are ill with HIV/AIDS. Do pray for the scientists, the researchers, the physicians and nurses who are working to find a cure and working to bring healing and comfort to those who are ill with HIV/AIDS. Do pray for all political leaders–especially our Congress and President–to have the will to find the way to work together to bring healing to those who are ill with HIV/AIDS and to implement programs to slow or eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS.
It’s never too late to pray. Who knows where God will lead you as you pray. May you have the grace to respond with compassion and care.
For further reading and reflection
- Nkosi Johnson (1989-2001) – as you read his story may you have in mind this truth from scripture “a little child shall lead them” Isaiah 11:6
- From Nkosi Johnson;s speech to the World AIDS Conference in July 2000
Hi, My name is Nkosi Johnson. I live in Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa. I am 11 years old and I have full-blown AIDS. I was born HIV-positive….
When I grow up, I want to lecture to more and more people about AIDS. And if Mommy Gail will let me, [I want to lecture] around the whole country. I want people to understand about AIDS, to be careful and respect AIDS. You can’t get AIDS if you touch, hug, kiss, or hold hands with someone who is infected.
Care for us and accept us–we are all human beings.
We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk, we have needs just like everyone else. Don’t be afraid of us. We are all the same!
Source: My Hero Project
Advice offered by Nkosi Johnson to ABC newsman Jim Wooten in 2001:
Do all you can with what you have in the time you have in the place you are.
Source: One Boy’s Heroism in the Face of AIDS | Aired 12/01/2004 on NPR