Statement: World AIDS Day

posted in: HIV AIDS, MCC News | 0

WAD2014

One year ago, we marked the 25th Anniversary of World AIDS Day. Who among us is better off? PReP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) protocols are becoming more widely available each month. Activists and advocates the world over have endorsed this approach as a major milestone toward ending the HIV epidemic. Earlier this year, MCC issued a statement applauding the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its approval of PReP. We knew that it was not the cure all for which we have prayed for decades. Combined with access to the basic necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, and systems of love and support), PRep can and has helped many. But looking back over the past year, we remain challenged by the fact that, throughout the world, the faces of AIDS remain stubbornly brown, stubbornly poor, and alarmingly female and MSM (men who have sex with men). Scripture tells us that Jesus saw himself in those around him, particularly those in need {Matthew 25}. We must, too. They are us, and we are them. Medical advances continue, but they remain out of reach for far too many.

 

As a movement that is concerned with the holy integration of our sexuality and our spirituality, MCC holds to a positive spirituality concerning all bodies.  Positive Spirituality is a spirituality that sees our sexuality as a part of our wholeness. Living into MCC’s core values of Inclusion, Community, Spiritual Transformation, and Social Action means that no one can be left beyond the reach of our prayers, our loving embrace, and our activism.

 

We are called to do hard work. Loving those whom they say are unlovable. Touching the untouchable. Defending those who are defenseless. Medicine alone is not the answer. Global systems of domination and exploitation rob people with HIV from meaningful access to cutting edge anti-retroviral medications. They withhold housing, shelter, employment, family, love, and spiritual companionship. There is only one fight: OUR fight. The late United States Senator Paul Wellstone famously said, “We all do better when we ALL do better.” MCC, we can continue to provide global leadership so that we ALL do better, everyone, everywhere.

 

Perhaps more than any other global religious movement, Metropolitan Community Churches knows that Faith Is Greater Than AIDS (Faith > AIDS). The first International AIDS Vigil of Prayer was held at MCC San Diego (USA) in 1986. This later evolved into World AIDS Day.

 

We invite you to join MCC worshipping bodies around the globe and take the following actions:

  • Take pictures of your Advent-themed worship space, with members and congregational leaders wearing AIDS ribbons and/or red attire, and post them on Facebook under the Ending HIV/AIDS One Prayer at a Time group between now and 1 December.
  • Visit MCC’s World AIDS Day page for resources to help with worship this Sunday, including litanies, prayers.
  • Include a specially-dedicated prayer around the theme of “Ending HIV/AIDS One Prayer At A Time.”
  • Contact a local HIV/AIDS service organization to start or expand use of your worship site as a testing location (global locator site).
  • Know Your Status, and help others become more comfortable in knowing their status.
  • Contact your local, state/provincial, and national government leaders and urge them to take action to end the criminalization of HIV.

 

We are blessed to have so many other faith traditions join this work to ensure that all HIV+ persons have resources, medical care, housing, food, clothing, and family support. More will never be enough until HIV is eradicated. This work is not done.

 

This statement is a collaboration between the Public Policy Team of MCC, the Global Justice Institute, and the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council of MCC.