Did you read about the baby girl, born in Mississippi to a woman with HIV, who was found with HIV in her blood shortly after birth? Care providers quickly started the infant on a full set of three HIV medicines (usually, only one or two are used in exposed babies to prevent infection).
The medicines were continued for 18 months, but then the mother and child went missing from care. When they returned after almost five months without medicines, no evidence of active HIV infection was found in the child. The medical team performed an exhaustive array of tests to try to confirm the prior presence of HIV and its subsequent eradication, and to rule out rare forms of resistance to HIV infection. Their medical doctor and the media have now declared this child “cured” of AIDS!
It’s really a broad jump to say that this baby was cured. In fact what happened to this baby is what would happen to ALL babies of HIV infected mothers if given the AIDS medications. The chances for an HIV+ mother to give birth to an HIV+ baby are about 30% or about 1 in 3 children born. With proper medical care and medication before the birth that can be dropped to about 1%. But even with DNA tests being done at birth, the chances are very high that the antibodies found in the babies blood stream for HIV where still a residue of his or her mother’s virus. The truth is no one really knows if the baby was HIV+ to begin with. If anything, as Dr. Marc Siedner of Harvard Medical School said, “It seems more likely that her treatment prevented her, after exposure to HIV, from being infected.”
So the great news is that this toddler is showing signs of being HIV negative but the truth is probably not really “cured”.
Would you like to support Terrys Kids, the AIDS orphans of Uganda? By purchasing this CD they have recorded, they hope to raise awareness of the disease and raise funds to support the ministry that helps them live, everyday. Won’t you please help spread the hope of Jesus Christ, to those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.
Today is World AIDS Day. I am not sure how many people know that. It is a topic that is not really talked about anymore. Even the news barely mentions it. You would hope it is because HIV/AIDS has been cured or that very few people have it. Surely it is because no one dies from it anymore, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the last 3 months, I have lost two friends to AIDS. Both were women, one in her thirties and one in her forties. One left behind a six year old son who is now orphaned by AIDS. His father died from it 5 years ago. These precious women had very different stories, but both had tremendous faith and courage. I have many friends living with HIV and they are truly some of the bravest people I know.
You would think the number of cases of those living with HIV has gone down since we don’t hear about it, but the number has not gone down. It continues to rise. Worldwide, there are 40 million people living with the disease. There are about 1.2 million cases in the United States. In a study done last year, Jacksonville was shown to be number three in the top 25 cities of HIV cases in the United States. Jacksonville has more cases than New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago. And these are just the known cases. There are a lot of people walking around without knowing their status.
The above information might disturb you some, but to me, what is more alarming is how the stigma has remained after all these years. People still remain very secretive about their HIV status, living in fear of who may or may not find out. People are still rejected by churches, friends and family because they are HIV positive. People would rather say they have cancer than to admit they are HIV positive.
In the last six years, I have learned so much about this disease. I have been blessed to meet modern day heroes fighting this battle, spreading awareness and more importantly the love of Jesus. A lot of them do this all while fighting the disease themselves. They know firsthand the struggles that come with the medications, the stigma and the fear. I really do feel blessed to be a part of this ministry. It can definitely be discouraging, though. I have felt much disappointment, confusion and even anger. More importantly, though, I am learning to trust. I have seen God move in amazing and beautiful ways. He is teaching me that sometimes the harder it is, the more important it is. If I invite 100 to come and only one shows up, that one matters!! I am learning to never give up. John Gardener said “We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” This is how I see AIDS. It is an opportunity from God for the church to be the church, to show up when no one else will. It is quite beautiful if you think about it. As you pray, please keep the AIDS community locally and worldwide in mind. Pray for those living with it, for those searching for a cure for it and for those in ministries here and around the world. Thanks for reading this. Thanks for being a part of this ministry in one way or another. I love you all so much.
PS- Don’t forget to wear red today. Spread the word.
Get rid of that “stuff” you don’t need anymore and turn it into something that will bless AIDS widows and AIDS orphans around the world!
On November 10, 2012, participants from across the United States will be having an HIV National Garage Sale with all proceeds going to the ministry of He Intends Victory. From Yorktown, Virginia to Lake Forest, California; from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington DC, our “partners” will be selling old furniture, clothing, knick-knacks, tools, and much more to support those AIDS orphans and AIDS widows in the 20 countries in which He Intends Victory serves. EVERY little bit counts- no garage sale too small and none too large. Ask you neighbors, ask your family, ask your Church for all of their old “stuff” as well and turn into “love”.
It’s happening: November 10, 2012 (7AM – 12PM)
RSVP By: October 20, 2012
To participate please fill out this form:
Together we CAN make a difference!