This year is the 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day, which has taken place on December 1st every year since 1988. The global event seeks to create awareness about the HIV / AIDS pandemic around the world with many people wearing a red ribbon as a symbol of their support. This may be to remember loved ones who have died or to show solidarity with people living with HIV / AIDS.
According to UNAIDS some 77.3 million people have become infected with HIV / AIDS since it was first diagnosed in the 1980s and about 35.4 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Currently about 36.9 million are living with HIV / AIDS. Sadly many, many people have lost their lives and though medical advances have improved life expectancy for those living with the syndrome, it still remains a major cause for concern.
In the video below from UNAIDS, the shocking fact is that so many people do not know they have HIV /AIDS, 9.4 million in fact, which is why the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “know your status”.
As Christians we are called to have compassion on all who suffer and to pray for all who are unwell. Jesus is our healer and even HIV / AIDS can be healed. In an article entitled AIDS: Charting a Christian Response CBN offers the following seven prayer pointers concerning how to pray concerning this issue. They also offer advice on Helping a Friend with AIDS.
HIV / AIDS 7 Prayer Pointers
- Ask God to forgive the sins of the nation, which have encouraged the spread of HIV /AIDS
- Intercede for those ravaged by the depression brought on by HIV/AIDS, and ask God to move powerfully in their lives.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your own fears and prejudices.
- Ask God to forgive the Church for being slow to respond to the ministry needs of those with HIV / AIDS.
- Pray for churches to reach out with compassion to those with the disease.
- Pray for wisdom and protection for those in the medical community treating AIDS patients.
- Ask God to strengthen and equip the friends and families of HIV/ AIDS patients.
While science has make several breakthroughs in treating HIV / AIDs there still isn’t a complete cure. We should pray that God raises up brilliant minds who will spearhead this, to prevent future loss of life. However the real cure for HIV / AIDs is spiritual revival.