Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Religious Groups Address African HIV/AIDS Epidemic
World Vision, a Christian global relief and development agency with programs in 92 countries, this month is launching a U.S. campaign and 15-city tour to "mobilize American support -- particularly among evangelical churches -- for those affected" by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, the Christian Science Monitor reports. According to the Monitor, there is a "new awakening" among churches in the United States to respond to the African HIV/AIDS epidemic with "greater empathy, vigor and funding." Through its tour, World Vision will urge churchgoers to contact their member of Congress and become personally involved in the fight against the disease. According to the Monitor, World Vision has "decided to orient all its resources toward" HIV/AIDS in Africa. In addition to the tour, World Vision's projects in Zambia and Uganda are currently testing methods to train pastors and other people to talk about HIV/AIDS prevention -- including abstinence and monogamy -- in their communities, and the group educates AIDS orphans about how to "organize their lives." World Vision hopes to identify prevention and education methods that can be copied elsewhere, according to the Monitor. In addition to World Vision, the Church World Service of the National Council of Churches is also increasing its response to AIDS in Africa. For example, CWS works with the YWCA in Rwanda to teach children who are heads of households how to take care of their siblings and offers them vocational training. World Vision President Rich Stearns said that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is "perhaps the greatest humanitarian crisis of all time," according to the Monitor. He added, "[O]ur work could be for nothing if the incidence rates continued to climb. I would argue that HIV/AIDS is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction at work in the world today and the stakes are just too high" to wait to respond (Lampman, Christian Science Monitor, 4/10).
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