Friday, August 10, 2012

Part 5: What to Do, Now That You Know


If you haven’t been reading my series on HIV, I’d love for you to start reading at the beginning. For those of you who have been reading it, I hope you agree when I say that the HIV topic has been convoluted by fear and lies for far too many years.

I've titled this post, "What to Do, Now That You Know."  You may be saying, "Sure, I read the whole series so far, but what do I know? I don't know anything."  True, I haven't covered much. I hope my list of facts tomorrow will help.  But here is what you do know:  HIV is not what you think it is.  That is enough to cause you to do your own research.  Make sure your sources are current. You will be surprised.  The disease we labled in the 1980's as a roaring lion has been tamed into a sleeping kitten.  With medication, that is.  For those who have little access to medical care, AIDS is still a horrific mass murderer.

Here is the most important thing that you know:  God loves everyone who is affected by HIV, and God will lovingly empower you to help when you step out in faith. As God’s children, it is time for us to act.

Here are my ideas:
  • Pray about whether you should adopt a child with HIV. For every reassurance I’ve given you about how manageable HIV is under proper medical care, I can counter it by the deaths caused by untreated AIDS. Parenting an HIV+ child means saving a life.

  • Advocate against the HIV/AIDS stigma.

  • Find the closest HIV clinic and ask if they need help counseling patients. When we met with the patient advocate at our local infectious disease clinic, we asked her whether she ever had patients die anymore. She said yes. But it was not for lack of medical care. It was because adults who contract HIV only know the 1980’s doom and gloom version of the "facts." Often times, patients become so depressed after diagnosis that they never rebound. They never hear the hope. And so they never take their medicines. It is like a slow suicide. Ask if you can minister to these precious souls.

  • Show love to a family affected by HIV. Don't buy into the stigma.  These families are safe, and worthy, and often the most incredible people you could be blessed enough to know.  And remember, children with HIV are not a threat to your children.  (stats to come tomorrow)

  • Find an organization that fights AIDS globally, and support it. Countless groups bring HIV medications into 3rd world countries, or counsel pregnant mothers on how to avoid passing HIV to their children, or work for AIDS prevention, or encourage doubtful patients to take their medication. Join their teams. Financially support them. Volunteer with them.

  • Adopt a child orphaned by AIDS, which may not necessarily mean that the child is infected with HIV.

You’re smart. You’re creative. Perhaps you can come up with more ideas than what I have listed here.

When Christians meet needs, we are living out the Gospel. Christ is the ultimate solution to our every problem. Whenever we can be a solution – whenever we can be love – then we are a walking, breathing analogy of the ultimate Solution and Love offered through the Cross of Jesus.

This is pretty much the end of my series, other than a bullet point post tomorrow with surprising facts and figures. Please act. Be the Love of Christ.

(Originally posted 9/3/10)

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Rachel, This is awesome and I will definately read the rest of the series later. I remember going to AIDS/HIV awareness conferences in the early 90s as a student. They were very eye opening and changed my persepective and through that I have been able to change others. It is very different from when we grew up but if we spread the light than the darkness cannot win.

Lauren @mercyINK said...

THANK you so much for sharing. A close friend of mine has two adopted sons who are HIV positive and I am amazed and how many people still don't know the truth about HIV/AIDS.

I would be so incredibly glad if you would link up at (www.mercyinkblog.com) for our Heart&Home community each week (open Tues am thru Sun pm). We'd be blessed to have you. I'd love to feature your story and bring more awareness, too.

Blessings in Christ!

Lauren @mercyiNK