God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

The day after…

Graph showing HIV copies and CD4 counts in a h...

Graph showing HIV copies and CD4 counts in a human over the course of a treatment-naive HIV infection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

… is a movie called trying to imagine the aftermath of a war with nuclear weapons.
The day after is also a feeling one get’s after the first of December every year. All speeches are done, all ribbons distributed and the press focuses again on other issues while the church hurries to prepare for Christmas. It leaves those working with HIV, living with HIV, struggling for treatment somehow in the limbo till next December, 1st…

But obviously it is not that bleak – and the there is a goal to reach – to cut down to zero new infections but to achieve this, there is a steep way in front of us. It requires all our energy on different levels:

Those in power must shift the money they spend of killing people to research, prevention and treatment; not only of HIV but also other medical and social conditions. It is indeed very much a disturbance to see that for warfare and the kill always money is at hand, while for humanity and the sake of those less fortune, there is always a fight. And the outcome is – compared to the expenses for war preparations – simply laughable. This has to change if we want to succeed.

Those living with the virus must make an effort to live responsible and being an advocate in their own rights. But obviously this can only happen if they have the tools and education to reflect on their situation with adequate knowledge.

There must be room for short and long-term interventions. Churches should stop putting devil and hell onto condoms as this comes as the safest intervention for those sexual active. Instead they can contribute towards long-term strategies of changing human habits. I guess nobody is fond of the idea of a 9-year-old boy having sex. Puberty is coming earlier – that’s also true. So what can we do to bring the ability to have sex and the mindset of responsibility together?

The Global AIDS Fund is the right tool to distribute donations and oversee progress in a global way. Government should stop contravening global efforts in bi-national agreements which put to rest the achievements of global negotiations and multinational agreements.

There is more to strive for and let’s put all our thoughts and energy together to make the world infection free for the start. So that World AIDS Day celebrates the victory of human civilization over a pandemic which threatened and killed millions of women and men, especially those on the more vulnerable side of life.

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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