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Archive for the ‘HIV/AIDS’ Category

World AIDS Day 2013

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World AIDS Day, Sunday 1 December 2013

GETTING TO ZERO

World AIDS Day on 1 December brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world.

Between 2011 – 2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths”. The World AIDS Campaign focus on “Zero AIDS related deaths” signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all; a call for governments to act now. It is a call to honor promises like the Abuja declaration and for African governments to at least hit targets for domestic spending on health and HIV.

December 1 is a Sunday this year and we, the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council thought that we would encourage our churches to engage their members, etc. to wear something red that day, (even if it is just the AIDS ribbon) to take pictures and post to Facebook, Instagram, etc. in solidarity of our theme. On Twitter we are asking our members and friends to post using #MCCGetting2Zero

We recognize that 1 December is also the first Sunday in Advent, so we offer the following prayer for MCC to use in the lighting of the Advent wreath or during prayer time.

Here is the suggested Liturgy:

Communal Prayer

One:           Listen, learn and live! Keep open to life’s changes. Be ready to be transformed by the power of love.

Many:         We are open to life’s changes. We are ready to be transformed by the power of love.

One:           Listen, learn and live! Take strength from each other, so that you may always be hopeful and have comfort, even in great loss.

Many:        We take strength from each other, so that we may always be hopeful and have comfort, even in great loss.

One:           Listen, learn and live! May the One who creates and sustains you be with you and bless you this day, and always, whoever you are and wherever you go.

Many:        The One who creates and sustains us is with us and blesses us this day, and always, whoever we are and wherever we go.

All:            Listen, learn and live! Amen!

 

Our Prayers

One: O God, we come before you this day with longing, with hungering, with tremendous need of your healing presence. We pray on behalf of ourselves, our loved ones, our community, and our world on this World AIDS Day and commit to “Getting to Zero” together.

Many:  Loving God, we receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:  For people who have tested HIV positive and endure tension-filled waiting; sometimes hopeful and optimistic, sometimes frozen with fear and despair …(silent prayer); loving God,

Many:  We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:   For groups of people who are viciously scapegoated as the cause of the spread of AIDS, and too often pronounced “non-innocent” sufferers of AIDS diseases because they are poor, or black, or Puerto Rican, or gay, or African, or a prostitute… (silent prayer); loving God,

Many:   We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:     For the families of someone dying of AIDS that are torn apart and divided because of ignorance and prejudice, or that are rendered entirely invisible, not recognized as a “real family”… (silent prayer); loving God

Many:   We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:     For people stricken by grief at the death of a loved one from AIDS…(silent prayer); loving God,

Many:   We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:   For the sickness and indifference that infuses the fabric of our wealthy nation, tolerating policies that would cut funding or which supports price gauging of the necessary elixirs of health…(silent prayer); loving God,

Many:    We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:     For the nations that are being decimated by the disease of AIDS and apathy…(silent prayer); loving God,

Many:   We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.

One:   For the people who continue to yell, “Enough,” give us strength for the struggle, and bring your justice now…(silent prayer); loving God,

Many:    We receive your gentle, powerful, healing touch.


 

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our online quiz: Are you HIV aware? Test your knowledge and awareness by taking the quiz and act aware by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. Click here to find out the facts.

You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.

 

International Organizations working towards Getting To Zero.

The global theme for World AIDS Day from 2011-2015, as selected by the World AIDS Campaign, is “Getting to Zero.” Backed by the United Nations, the “Getting to Zero” campaign focuses on the goals of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.

How exactly is the world affected by AIDS?

Here are some of the devastating effects of this disease.

Hispanicsandaids2009

Households

The most affected families are often those that do not have a lot of options for their means of living. With the death of males in the family due to AIDS, women and children are forced to provide their households the basic needs. This is a problem in countries that have many male-dominated industries – when the heads of the families get sick, women are forced to leave homes and work in industries such as carpentry or farming. In a lot of countries affected by AIDS, women are still viewed to be in charge of housework. Read more.

 

International AIDS Society 2013 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The IAS 2013 programme is available online through the Programme-at-a-Glance (PAG). Links to abstracts, slide sets with audio, rapporteur reports and e-posters will be added as they become available. The PAG allows delegates to build and print personalized itineraries. It also features topic-focused roadmaps to help delegates navigate each day of the conference.

Click here to read about the scientific highlights of IAS 2013

Act AWARE

Act Aware by supporting our campaigns!

 

NATNAT (National AIDS Trust)(UK) doesn’t just campaign on World AIDS Day – throughout the year we work on a range of issues affecting people living with HIV, including benefits, employment and human rights. We are committed to ensuring that the laws and policies affecting people living with HIV are fair, and we work to raise awareness of HIV and the importance of HIV education in the UK today.

To get involved in our campaigning, find out more here.

AIDS2014_bannerInternational AIDS Conference 2014

The convening of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia, in July 2014 represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the Asia Pacific region’s HIV epidemic and the unique responses to it. Gathering in Melbourne, we will work together to strengthen our efforts across all regions and around the world, building on the momentum of recent scientific advances and the momentum from AIDS 2012.

The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policymakers, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It will be a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.

Read more…

Fact Sheets

 


Litany for World AIDS Day 2013

Developed by the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse
and Strength for the Journey-Los Angeles
LEADER: As we gather to worship on this World AIDS Day, we are reminded that, as members of the Body of Christ, we are called to boldly proclaim the human rights of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
PEOPLE: We take this moment to pray for a cure, even as we remember the millions who have died from this disease.
LEADER: We take this moment to lift up the millions of infected women, men and children who suffer the misguided judgments of a world that would shun them and shame them.
PEOPLE: We take this moment to give thanks for the transformative power of God’s Spirit.
LEADER: God’s Spirit empowers us to break the shackles of apathy, ignorance, and condemnation so that we are able to provide healing for the sick, comfort for the troubled, and hope for the forsaken.
ALL: God’s Spirit emboldens us to love unflinchingly, to share unconditionally, and to serve unreservedly.

World AIDS Day resources through the Global Ministries of the UCC and the DOC. http://www.globalministries.org/resources/special-days/aids-day/Daily Devotional for World AIDS Day throughout the season of Advent, available in English, Spanish and French http://advent.ecumenicaladvocacy.org/

Resources from the United Methodist Church

Bible Study: Chicken & Biscuits and More: AIDS Ministry and Christian Hospitality

Christian hospitality is a key aspect of congregational ministry with people living with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones.

Sermon: “Where Is the Promise?” (Advent)

Christmases weren’t always this hard. There were so many things that John Matthew didn’t want to be reminded of. There was the fact that he never seemed to have enough money to be able to get the presents he wanted to give his friends…

Worship Resources: Be a Force for Change

Come, Holy Spirit, empower us today– convert us, move us, strengthen us to be a force for change from now on.

Worship Resources: God Cares About AIDS

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples about how God cares for all of creation, even small creatures like birds, and that God cares for humankind even more.

Worship Resources: Jesus, A Man Who Made a Difference

Jesus was a man who changed the world forever. He actively sought to bring healing to individuals and society. He stood with the crowd on a “level place”: he treated them as equals.

Poem: ‘Tis a Fearful Thing

Anonymous

Prayer: I Care About AIDS (An Affirmation)

Kathleen Wilder

Reflection: “This Is the Day” (AIDS Caregiving Journal)

Peter Braswell

Scripture Selections

Spiritual comfort in times of trial.

International Worship Resources

The Maryknoll AIDS Task Force Prayer

handsclaspedGod of all compassion, comfort people who live with HIV. Spread over us all your quilt of mercy, love and peace.

Open our eyes to your presence reflected in their faces. Open our ears to your truth echoing in their hearts.

Give us the strength to weep with the grieving, to journey with the lonely, to be with the depressed.

May our love mirror your love for those who live in fear, who live under stress and who suffer rejection.

Loving God grant rest to those who have died and hope to all who live with HIV.

God of life, help us to find the cure now and help us to build a world in which no one dies alone and where everyone lives accepted, wanted, and loved.

Adapted from the Maryknoll sisters of the San Salvador Diocesan HIV/AIDS program and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

Prayer of Hope

(for use on World AIDS Day)

God of Hope
All of us are affected by HIV/AIDS.
At this time of Advent Hope,
As we prepare for the coming of your son into this world
We give thanks for signs of hope.
For growing understanding
For medical advances
For changing attitudes and behavior
For greater awareness and concern in your church.
God of Unity
Bind us together with strong ties of love
That this church community may be a place where
All can find acceptance,
May it be a place of welcome for all affected by HIV/AIDS.
May it be a place where care is given and received, especially
for affected children and youth,
Where stories are told and heard,
Where fear is overcome by love,
Where you are to be found. Amen.

Adapted from The Diakonia Council of Churches in South Africa

Prayers of Intercession: Halting the Spread of HIV/AIDS

Heavenly Creator, we give you thanks for those national leaders and governments who have given publicity to the crisis of HIV/AIDS and who are committed to halting its spread. Give your wisdom to all who are in positions of leadership that they may work effectively for the well-being of the people they serve. We ask this for the sake of him who came to bring good news to the poor, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Open our heart to all that brings sickness and pain to our siblings around the world. Give us the will to protest against inequalities that make all vulnerable to infection; to oppose violence and war that put lives at risk; and to combat ignorance and poverty which lead to the spread of disease. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you showed on earth your love for children. Guide by your Spirit all those who are entrusted with teaching children and young people about the spread of HIV/AIDS and how to prevent it. Help teachers and health workers to present the facts clearly and lovingly, and to enable children to pass on that message to others. Amen.Prayer and Reflection to Support People Caring for Those With and Affected by HIV/AIDS

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest. Luke 10:2

Loving and caring God, thank you, for You call us to love and serve Your people. You call those who care for all affected and effected by HIV/AIDS to be healing balm in Your hurting world. You send us as compassion, to suffer with those who suffer. Day and night we labor to comfort Your people.

Yet, many times the comforters are depressed by the amount of suffering seen. And many times they are totally exhausted by the amount of work that must be done. They often neglect their own health and families in the HIV/AIDS struggle. O Lord, renew their strength. Amen.

From the Church World Service website, www.churchworldservice.org, and are adapted from Dube, M., Africa Praying: A Handbook on HIV/AIDS

A Prayer for Holistic Healing

Heal us from the bodily pains of HIV/AIDS that depletes our immunity, and leaves us open to opportunistic infections.All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us

Heal us from our broken hearts and grief that continues to pain our spirits and minds and leave us empty about the meaning of life.

All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us

Heal us from the psychological pains of HIV/AIDS that engulf us in fear and hopelessness and leads us to die before the virus kills.

All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us

Heal us from HIV/AIDS social stigma and discrimination that leads us to uncompassionate acts of isolation, and failure to provide quality care and prevention.

All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us

Heal us from unhealthy sexual relations that expose partners and spouses to HIV/AIDS infection and leaves them powerless to protect themselves.

All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us

Heal us from poverty that exposes millions to HIV/AIDS. Heal us from exploitative social structures that condemn many to poverty and expose them to infection.

All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us

Heal us from violence that spreads HIV/AIDS. Heal us from ethnic and civil wars. Heal us from domestic violence and the rape of children.

All: Heal us Lord, Have mercy on us, Amen.

From the Church World Service web site, www.churchworldservice.org, and are adapted from Dube, M., Africa Praying: A Handbook on HIV/AIDS

Prayer of Hope for Children

I pray of a world where the youth are free,
Free to play with each other without fear,
Free to touch, tickle and to embrace,
Free to be themselves and respected for that.

I pray for a world where the young blossom,
Where potential is harnessed and realized,
Where people’s efforts are rewarded,
And where one can fly to reach the sky.

I pray for a world without HIV/AIDS,
I dream of a kaleidoscope of youth,
Who sing a song of praise and not shed tears,
I dream of the fullness of life and no more death. Amen.

From the Church World Service web site, www.churchworldservice.org, and are adapted from Dube, M., Africa Praying: A Handbook on HIV/AIDS

Prayer for protection of girls

We are gathered together to affirm the humanity of the girl child. We celebrate the fact that the girl child was created in the image of God and is loved by God. We claim responsibility to protect the girl child and give her the opportunity to grow without fear of being abused by anyone. We pray for a safe environment that is created by all for the safety of the girl child. Amen.

From the Church World Service web site, www.churchworldservice.org, and are adapted from Dube, M., Africa Praying: A Handbook on HIV/AIDS

Prayers for Healing

(can be used on St. Luke’s Day, a day of healing, on October 18)

Let us pray for the needs of all those living with HIV/AIDS (especially ____________), that God’s never-failing love may enfold them; that all who care for them may be strengthened in that ministry; and that the church may be to them a place of refuge where Christ is made known.

Let us pray for recovery from sickness, that God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of the suffering, may mercifully hear our prayers and grant to ______________ healing power, that in Christ their sickness may be turned to health and our sorrow to joy.

Let us pray for those who serve in the professions of healing, that God may guide physicians and nurses and all those called to practice the arts of healing. Strengthen them by your spirit so that the health of all people may be promoted and Christ glorified.

Let us pray for the ministry of family and friends. Give strength and gentleness, patience and faithfulness to family members and friends. Let their love be in you, and by their ministry of love let your love be made known.

Let us pray for all those who depend upon our prayers. Blessed Lord, we ask your loving care and protection for those who are sick in body, mind, or spirit and who desire our prayers. Take from them all fears and help them put their trust in you, that they may feel your strong arms around them. Amen.

Themes of Advent and HIV / AIDS

The traditional themes of the Sundays of Advent are hope, peace, joy and love. Many congregations light a candle each week and focus part of the liturgy on the concept for that week. Each of these words has unique meaning in a world where an estimated 33 million people are living with HIV or AIDS and an estimated 2.7 million more people are being infected with HIV annually.

Since World AIDS Day usually falls between the first and second Sundays in Advent, we will focus on the themes of hope and peace. If you are incorporating these themes into your preaching and/or your liturgy, consider asking yourself, at least on a Sunday close to December 1, how that theme relates to HIV and AIDS. Below are some reflections to get you started.

Hope

What does hope look like in an HIV+ world? What does hope look like for those in your community most affected by HIV and AIDS? For your outreach partners? For those in your own congregation who have been affected but have never been asked to share their stories or who are at risk for infection and don’t know it? Maybe it looks like:

Educating and Increasing Awareness

Educate all people, regardless of gender, age, race, or nationality on the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of HIV, as well as educating them about the hope after diagnosis, and the hope that undergirds preventative measures

Ask questions about HIV and AIDS in the places where your congregation already does outreach work, locally and globally.

Observe World AIDS Day with other people of faith in your community.

Commemorate World AIDS Day at your Sunday morning service of worship.

Advocating

Advocate for increased access to life-saving antiretroviral drugs.

Support targeted prevention efforts leading to changes in sexual behavior and a drop in new HIV infections.

Nurturing Acceptance

Create a “safe place” for persons who are HIV+ by asking your own congregation to share their stories about how HIV and AIDS have touched their lives.

Invite someone who is HIV+ to share their story with you and your congregation.

Taking Action

Pray for all those affected and effected by HIV and AIDS.

Honor a community organization who is working for the eradication of HIV/AIDS.