World Vision Launches National Campaign To Raise Funds for Global HIV/AIDSWorld Vision International, a Washington state-based Christian humanitarian organization, yesterday announced the launch of a national campaign to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. The group's efforts will include Christian concerts, a Washington, D.C., summit and an advertising campaign. World Vision will work with other organizations, including national health offices and local churches to raise money for the organization's HIV/AIDS education and treatment efforts, according to the News Tribune. The agency "stresses abstinence" among five- to 15-year-olds to "protect the next generation from the scourge of AIDS." In addition, World Vision provides care to AIDS orphans and children whose parents are chronically ill due to the disease. The group works to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission, stresses "faithfulness in marriage" to stop the spread of the disease and, to a "lesser" extent, distributes condoms to individuals who are at high risk of becoming HIV-positive. Rev. John Penton, a pastor of Roosevelt Heights Church of God in Tacoma, Wash., who works with World Vision, said that he is trying to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS in African-American churches. "The stigma, especially in the Christian community, is that [HIV/AIDS] is contracted by one's own choices," Penton said, adding, "As a Christian, my job is to have compassion and not judge those for having it." World Vision's national campaign will include:
- A 15-city "Hope Tour" featuring educational events with World Vision workers, AIDS experts and Christian musicians;
- A 30-city concert tour featuring the Christian group 4Him;
- A radio and television advertising campaign; and
- A summit June 11-12 to bring together Christian leaders, congressional leaders and Bush administration officials in support of the president's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative (Maynard, Tacoma News Tribune, 4/1).