HIV/AIDS killing millions, Christians must help

By June 29, 2005

Africa (MNN) — Today, about 40 million people are infected with HIV worldwide. Nearly 75-percent of those infections are on the African continent. But, the infection rate is increasing worldwide. About 14,000 new infections are accruing each day. Of those, 2000 new cases are children. Last year 3 million people died, and 500,000 of those were children. Compassion International’s HIV/AIDS Program Manager Doctor Scott Todd says because of these deaths, 14-million children are now orphans.

Todd says that means Compassion International is needed now more than ever. He says they’re doing everything they can to help those affected. “We provide treatment for their opportunistic infections. Those are the diseases that capitalize on the weakened body. We provide nutritional support and we’ll even provide medicine.”

That medicine includes specialized HIV/AIDS medication. “There are medicines that are available here in the United States called anti-retroviral drugs. Over 90-percent of the people who need that medicine don’t have access to it. They’re the people living in these communities and villages in Africa.”

Todd says Compassion has established an HIV/AIDS Fund to help in a small way: “We identify those who have that need and connect them to clinical services in country and if that means driving them several hundred kilometers to get to a clinic, we’ll do that. And, we pay for the cost of the anti-retroviral (drugs), which are quite expensive.”

Compassion International partners with the local church, which allow them to do more than help physically. “One of the unique things about Compassion is because of that church partnership, we can ensure that each child will have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The problem Compassion is facing is that only a small percentage of Christians are helping with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Todd says, “If we’re reading the same Bible where it says, ‘look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world’ as it says in James, I don’t think there’s any question what the Christian response should be that we should be seeing 100-percent of evangelical Christians saying, ‘yes’ they would help an orphan, regardless of the cause.”

To sponsor a child or to help with Compassion’s HIV/AIDS Program, click on the link above and follow the link to Compassion’s Website.

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