December 1, 2017
As we mark World AIDS Day, we contemplate the 2017 United Nations AIDS campaign “My Health, My Right,” which affirms that health care is a human right. However, stigma and discrimination might be the most significant hurdles to the effective treatment of HIV/AIDS.
We live in an era in which a diagnosis of HIV is no longer a death sentence. According to the Prevention Access Campaign, “Undetectable HIV is Untransmittable HIV (U=U).” The campaign states that “the risk of HIV transmission from a person living with HIV who is on antiretroviral therapy and has achieved an undetectable viral load in their blood for at least six months is negligible to nonexistent.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support the science behind U=U.
But we cannot rely on medication alone. For an effective approach to the HIV epidemic, we need for supportive communities to address fear and stigma so people can have the confidence to seek the medical care needed to live a full life and to stop the spread of the disease.
Today, on World AIDS Day, join other Presbyterians in creating communities that value all lives as sacred and deserving of human rights, as we stand together to combat stigma and fear.
Visit presbyterianmission.org/ministries/phewa/pan/ to learn more about the Presbyterian AIDS Network and to download “Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church: Prophetic Witness and Compassionate Action,” a report approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010). .
Andries Coetzee is part of the leadership team of the Presbyterian AIDS Network and pastor-elect of University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas.
Today’s Focus: World AIDS Day
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbyterian AIDS Network Co-Moderators
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God, may we follow your way as we bring healing and wholeness to our communities. Give us the courage to face fear and discrimination and to speak up for those who are marginalized. Amen.