We seem to hear less and less about AIDS each year, and I don’t know if that’s because we are doing a better job preventing and treating HIV and AIDS or if we have become desensitized to this particular disease. I hope it is the former, but fear it might be the latter, or perhaps a combination of the two.
I also hear AIDS more often associated with African countries than with the American population, and am deeply troubled by the implications. Was AIDS a bigger deal when it was more likely to impact white Americans than when it ravages whole communities half a world away (with a darker skin color)– just as it was easier to ignore before it became “mainstream” and it was the “gay cancer”? Is it easier to talk about aid for Africa when we mean food and mosquito nets because AZT costs more and condoms are more controversial?
My prayer is for the vision and wisdom to eradicate AIDS, of course.
My prayer is for those who have been lost to AIDS, and all those who mourn them.
My prayer is for people living with (living with! living with!), not dying from disease, for courage and hope in the face of deep darkness.
And my prayer is for our world where all diseases must be seen as global diseases because our human family is so tightly interwoven, where we cannot and must not ignore the cries of sisters and brothers no matter how far away they are and no matter how difficult, embarrassing, or politically challenging it might be to hear answer their call for help.
Light of the World, heal us.
(you can contribute to the United Methodist Commission on Relief Global AIDS fund online. 100% of your donation goes to the specified need).