1 December World AIDS Day
This year the focus of the world has very much been on Covid-19. Other illnesses and diseases have not however deferred to it, and gone away. According to the World Health Organisation in 2019 38m people were HIV-positive (20% of whom were unaware of their status), there were 1.7m new infections and 690,000 people died of AIDS. Many are younger, economically-active, and carers for children. There is a target to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030, but partly because of the impact of Covid-19 (eg disrupting drug production and distribution) the programme is slightly off course – but can be recovered. Today is a day to remember those who have died, those feeling the impact (eg children who have lost parents, grandparents bringing up orphaned grandchildren), those living with HIV/AIDS, those who offer practical help and support, and those working to eliminate it. For many, speaking openly of having HIV/AIDS can mean stigma and facing prejudice and abuse. It challenges us to consider our feelings: do we simply see someone in need, or are we inclined to be judgemental? [If you want to know more about HIV/AIDS visit the WHO website]
Lord, we remember all whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS, those providing support, and those working to contain and eliminate it. Help us to see others as you see them
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