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Facts about HIV and AIDS

The global AIDS crisis staggers our imagination. The scale of human loss undermines the social and economic fabric of entire nations, especially in Africa. For example, at current rates, 100 million people worldwide will be infected by 2010. Of the 14,000 persons infected each day, 85% live in the developing world. Tragically, only 5% of people in the developing world who need lifesaving AIDS medications have access to them because they are too expensive, and/or trade laws restrict their importation. In Africa, over eleven million children have lost at least one parent to the disease, leading to an explosion in “child-headed households.” AIDS has wiped out as much as one quarter of the labor force in some African countries, creating economic havoc and fueling hunger. 1

There are many web sites with extensive HIV and AIDS information. Several excellent, up-to-date sites are listed below with information on the dimensions of the crisis as well as encouraging signs of how caring people are seeking to respond.

What is HIV/AIDS?
The Global Crisis
Theological Reflection

What is HIV/AIDS?


Basic Information on HIV/AIDS – an introduction to HIV/AIDS history, prevention, transmission, and testing, from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Information is available in English and Spanish.

What is AIDS – an introduction to HIV/AIDS prevention and transmission, from AVERT

AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGiS) - AEGIS claims to be the largest AIDS knowledgebase in the world. It provides an HIV/AIDS encyclopedia, and republishes news articles originally published elsewhere. The site is particularly focussed on HIV/AIDS in the American context. AEGIS does not guarantee the accuracy of the information it provides.


The Global Crisis


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)- UNAIDS is the main advocate for global action on the epidemic. It leads, strengthens and supports an expanded response aimed at preventing transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV/AIDS, and alleviating the impact of the epidemic.
This massive website provides news reports, detailed country profiles, updated fact sheets, World AIDS Day information and many additional resources. One resource of note is the 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update, which is available in its entirety or broken down into regional summaries and fact sheets. This site is published in Arabic, Chinese, German, English, Spanish, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese, and Russian.


United Nations Development Fund for Women- The spread and impact of HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects women and adolescent girls who are socially, culturally, biologically and economically vulnerable. The UNIFEM website offers facts and policies related to gender and HIV/AIDS.


United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)- Children are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as primary victims, or as the children of victims. The UNICEF web site provides excellent overviews, easy to access articles, personal stories, databases and other publication on the particular issue of HIV/AIDS and children.

Global AIDS: Facing the Crisis a fact sheet from Church World Service, summarising the challenge AIDS poses in different regions. It includes information on the danger AIDS poses to food security in the developing world and the relationships between AIDS and gender, national debt, war, refugees and culture. It discusses the church’s contribution to the creation of the AIDS crisis, and provides information on how to support CWS in its efforts to address it

HIV/AIDS Statistics from Around the World AVERT, an international AIDS charity based in the UK, gathers current statistics on HIV/AIDS from sources including the WHO, UNAIDS, the Center for Disease Control (USA), and the Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control (Canada) and presents them in straightforward, readable formats.

US Agency for International Development (USAID)- This USAID site describes U.S. efforts to fights HIV/AIDS internationally. It provides country profiles, updates on the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, opportunities to join national listservs and access statistical databases.


Theological Reflection


HIV/AIDS and the Curriculum - A collection of essays published by the World Council of Churches that "represents our efforts in the continent of Africa to contribute towards the struggle against HIV and AIDS". The collection came out of workshops to train theological educators on how to implement the HIV and AIDS curriculum in their educational institutions. It is also for those in the church who need to deal with HIV and AIDS. Chapters which may be relevant to Christian educators include: Human Sexuality and HIV/AIDS, Biblical Studies and HIV/AIDS, Theology in HIV/AIDS Contexts, and Some Methods of Analysis


AIDS Ministry and Christian Hospitality – A Bible study discussing the Christian notion of hospitality as a response to HIV/AIDS. It would be useful as background reading or read as an opening for a discussion group. Presented by Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.



1 Taken from GLOBAL AIDS: FACING THE CRISIS (Church World Service)

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