- AIDS-related illnesses have killed more than 25 million people since 1981.
- Every day more than 3,000 children are orphaned by AIDS. A third of these children are under five years old.
- 1,500 children are infected with AIDS every day.
- The number of people living with HIV has risen from around 8 million in 1990 to at least 33 million today, and is still growing.
*From the UNAIDS 2008 Report of the global AIDS epidemic.
Hope in Crisis
It has been said that in a hundred years, people will look back on this time in history, and the main question they will ask is, "What did they do about AIDS?"
AIDS is often referred to as a pandemic, a plague or deadly disease that touches all world regions. Yet, this pandemic is not just about staggering statistics, but the faces of people. It is about real lives. It is about children. It is about the Church.
Manual Statement-903.15. HIV/AIDS
(Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
Since 1981, our world has been confronted with a most devastating disease known as HIV/AIDS. In view of the deep need of HIV/AIDS sufferers, Christian compassion motivates us to become accurately informed about HIV/AIDS. Christ would have us to find a way to communicate His love and concern for these sufferers in any and every country of the world (2005).
The reality of AIDS in the world is the most compelling issue of our time. With the effects of HIV/AIDS devastating communities throughout Africa, and the rapidly increasing prevalence of the disease in India and Eastern Europe, extreme measures must be taken to increase education about and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
It is vitally important to our Christian walk that we be informed about the desperate challenges facing our world. The Church of the Nazarene works together with other faith-based partners worldwide to increase education, prevention, and care in response to the global HIV/AIDS crisis.
Target Responses: How the Church of the Nazarene is Responding Globally
- Spiritual Support: Pastors and church members are trained to be a spiritual support for those people affected by HIV/AIDS. People taking part in the training are also taught how to approach the pandemic from a Christian perspective.
- Prevention: The local church is involved in educational campaigns that focus on abstinence before marriage and faithfulness after marriage. These programs focus on youth and young married couples.
- Leadership training: Using local resources, pastors and community leaders are trained in how to deal with the pandemic in their communities.
- Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Education programs are created for children who are orphaned or particularly vulnerable to the spread and effects of HIV/AIDS.
- Food Security: Agriculture and livestock projects exist to sustain caregivers of children who are orphaned by HIV/AIDS, as well as the children themselves.
- Health Care: Medical attention and services are made available for persons living with HIV/AIDS through a network of local volunteers.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
Holiness Today, Nov/Dec 2009