21 November 2003

HIV/AIDS booklet helps church groups to be better informed

New resource published ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December

Speak Out About HIV/AIDS has been produced in time for World AIDS Day on 1 December. 

On this day, the Christian Churches are encouraging their members to pray for the 42 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS. This number includes 3.2 million children aged 15 or under and 19.2 million women (adults 38.6 million). In 2002, when the latest figures were gathered, there were 3.1 million deaths and 5 million people newly infected.

The Methodist Church in Britain, through generous giving to the Methodist Church Funds for World and Home Mission, supports many who work in hospices, health care and chaplaincies. To date £20,000 has been raised for the Love Box scheme organised by the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. Stories and details are available from the Mission Education office, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. Tel: 020 7486 5502.

Earlier this year The World Church Report on HIV/AIDS said: "Within churches HIV/AIDS needs to be talked about honestly and openly by all members of the church. Church leaders must include HIV/AIDS in their theology in a way that will increase people's awareness and decrease stigma and discrimination against those affected by HIV/AIDS and enable people to give care and comfort to those affected." 

Resources for worship have also been produced this year by Christian Aid - Travellers Tales: Journeying Alongside People With HIV - and the Church of Scotland - Taking Off Our Rose Coloured Glasses. Both these resources provide material for worship, prayers, stories, reflections and a choice of hymns and songs that churches may like to incorporate in worship on 30 November or 7 December. Available from: Christian Aid, PO Box 95, Aldershot, Hampshire GU12 4BR. Tel: 08700 787788; or the Church of Scotland, 121 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4YN. Tel: 0131 225 5722

For more information please contact the Mission Education office Tel: 020 7467 5116

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