December 1 is World AIDS Day–a time set aside to remember and support those affected by HIV/AIDS. As we remember those whom we have lost, let us be encouraged to learn more about how HIV and AIDS affect those throughout our country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 23 percent of people living with HIV in the United States are women.
We still have work to do
Social determinants and other factors impact health issues–including HIV and AIDS. And as such, some communities are disproportionately affected. For example, 61 percent of women diagnosed with HIV in 2015 in the U.S. were African American. While some progress is being made, we still have work to do.
How to observe this day
To observe the day, you can pray, worship, and dedicate time to learn more about HIV/AIDS. You can invite a health educator to share information in your congregation or community. You can access HIV testing in your community or take part in advocacy around health access, housing programs, and other related policies.
Thinking ahead to 2023, consider whether your congregational unit might apply for a seed grant through Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls to do some ministry targeted around HIV/AIDS. The deadline to apply is April 5, 2023.
This post is based on an article that first appeared as a March 2018 post on this blog. The original article was written by Megan Neubauer who then was coordinator for the domestic hunger initiative pilot project and program associate for the ELCA strategy on HIV and AIDS.