Story number 1 for 25 Jun 2001

By June 25, 2001

(USA)–We begin today in the United States where world leaders are meeting this week at the United Nations. It’s the first time the U-N has convened because of a public health issue. The issue is HIV/AIDS. World Vision’s Dr. Hector Jalipa (hah-LEE-pah) is participating. Jalipa puts the problem in perspective. “In Botswana, it’s a small country of less than 10-million people, the number of HIV/AIDS already in that country is close to 40-percent. You multiply that with other countries in southern Africa the range is from 20 to 30 percent. So, that’s about 1/5th of the country of the especially the active labor force, adult population are dying.” Jalipa says while this is a challenge to world leaders, it’s especially challenging to the church. “Many of the churches are still burying their heads in the sand, or they’re too judgmental about HIV/AIDS. They haven’t come out and said we can condemn the sin, but we can’t condemn the individual. We need to love these people and we need to show God’s love.”

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