On the brink of the Food and Drug Administration approving Truvada, the first drug that can be used as a preventative measure in developing HIV, many Americans are beginning to ask whether or not the Church should play a bigger role in preventing HIV.
An estimated 1.2 million Americans have HIV, and with an estimated 240,000 HIV carriers unaware that they may be carrying the virus, doctors are looking for different methods of fighting the spread of it.
The topic of sexuality and HIV/AIDS awareness can almost be a bit taboo for many churches. Often because those topics are generally in the same vein of homosexuality, which can become very controversial among parishioners. Many Churches offer counseling and support for those suffering with the disease, but it still leaves many to ask, what more can be done?
Recently the NAACP has gotten involved, creating a manual for black churches on how to conduct meetings and church groups that discuss sex education.
According to the Associated Press,
“The guides suggest pastors talk about HIV in sermons, connect their churches with groups that serve people with HIV, promote safe sex and access to condoms, and organize church-based HIV screening drives. The manual also includes facts about the disease and passages from the Bible to serve as inspiration.”
Their call to action is one of the first steps to combating the disease, which affects African Americans at more than half the rate of whites.
Read more about it here.
What do you think? Should the Church be responsible for helping prevent HIV? Or just providing support?
The church should be in the forefront of HIV/AIDS advocacy. The church should stop pretending it doesn’t exist and only a disease for the “sinners” thus no need to talk about. Church is for sinners. I am soo tired of the Church covering its ears and eyes to homosexuality. It’s real and exist. I’m tired of the church sending the un-wed pregnant mother out of the church but allowing the baby daddy to continuue to play the organ and direct the choir. Jesus was a revolutionary. Jesus would embrace and love the sinner not condemn.
@Nef: This is sooooo very true
@Nef: That’s cool and all but Christianity is not revolutionary. It’s conservative and if that is they way they want to be then let’s let them be like it. We should stop forcing homosexuality unto people and the church should eliminate its homophobic rhetoric
Jesus’ ministry was an outreach ministry. He ministered to the sick, the poor and those in need. He did not judge their circumstance but showed them a way out.He educated them and supported them in their situation. Yes, the Church definitely needs to be involved. Just because the Church is stuck in tradition does not make it scriptural.
They should have NO role what so ever. HIV is majority gay disease that has spilled over into straight peoples world through prison or unsafe sex which means the church would be condoning abominations. God does not forgive this type of recklessness so why should HIS church either. God put a limit on sex.
Hebrew 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
@Yoked: HIV/AIDS is not just a homosexual disease. It’s a community disease. Most of the new HIV cases coming down in the black community aren’t gay related. So your argument is specious.
Also, Hebrews 13 starts out with: “Let brotherly love continue.” There is nothing brotherly or loving about your statements. We have to set aside tradition and stigma to build a better stronger community, black and white and we can not do so without the participation of EVERYONE. That includes the black church. Either the black church (of which I am not a member) catches up on social issues or it marginalizes itself and becomes irrelevant.
(Even though I don’t go to church, my family is filled with pastors and preachers. My mother is an Evangelist and my father was a Minister. I speak from a place of knowledge.)
@lafenice: Check the stats. 70% of new cases are black men and 73% percent are men who sex other men. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/ God’s knowledge is just that his. There’s nothing new under the sun
@Yoked: God forgives all sin, except for one….”I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:28-29 (NIV) Jesus never taught us to be unforgiving. He even said that the 2nd greatest Commandment is to Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself.
@Yoked: I knew it had to come sooner or later. Some idiot talking nonsense. Yoked, what do you know about God’s forgiveness? Man does not forgive. God is not like man. Go somewhere and shut up before more people are hurt by your words.
I am generally concerned for this topic in general. For one, the church AND SPECIFICALLY THE BLACK CHURCH was involved in the important HIV/AIDS epidemic long before hospitals and medical care providers where as care centers of acceptance and prayer and terminal care when everyone else turned their backs and looked away.
The church (and by that I mean church go-ers and believers of faith) should not be excepted to do anything that they don’t believe. Especially when it comes to health. In the 90’s the big push was to force churches to hand out condoms. If your beliefs do not advocate that, then it should not be expected of you.
On the other hand, the turning a blind and judgmental eye to things that are taking place in the lives of members of your church is foolish and short sighed. That needs to be addressed.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. So in following the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the church must work to help those in need by using the Word of God. It is not our place to judge others based on their lifestyle and/or their sin; we are called to love one another. We can’t help anyone through hate or judgement. I definitely think it would be a good idea for the church to get get involved in HIV counseling. I’ve never heard of HIV Awareness/Prevention as the topic of sermon or of churches passing out condoms, but the Bible does say that fornication and adultery are sins. Keeping away from these things will protect our community.
Marrying outside of your race is a sin. Wearing different types of clothing together is a sin. Eating shellfish is a sin. Getting tattoo’s is a sin. I can go into any church on any given sunday and see these “sins” in action, yet the only time “sin” comes up is with homosexuality stay out of peoples bedrooms. Are you living vicariously through these people “saints”. 1 samuel 20:17
@Broroc: Nothing you’ve mentioned is a sin…except for tattoos, which is defiling your temple (I have a few tattoos, so I’m not here to judge). But even so, God forgives us of our sins, known and unknown, if we only ask. As I said in my previous comment, Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. It is not our job to judge, but to love, no matter what the sin. Ministers of the Gospel are not to trying to be in anyone’s bedroom, but rather implant the Word of God into one’s heart and mind so that they may make wise decisions in one’s own life, in one’s own bedroom. And I’m not quite sure of your use of that particular scripture here….
The church would benefit from addressing the issue because it appears to be a behavioral pattern that can have adverse effects on it’s members. How many admit to being sexually active while professing their faith? Why not address safe sex EVEN when we teach and preach abstinence? It addresses taking care of the temple God has given you. It is OBVIOUS that the black community has higher rates and since we attend church in higher numbers, it is the perfect place to be addressed.
I wish the Church would not have to recognize this sin but it must adapt to the time until our Lord comes back. Love the person hate the sin.
The church should and is doing both.