RESOLUTION ON AIDS IN AFRICA

Status: Adopted Unanimously by the NCC General Assembly Nov. 17, 2000

WHEREAS, there is a great tragedy unfolding on the African continent as the HIV/AIDS pandemic lays devastating waste to the populations of this beautiful land and the children are, indeed, bearing the greatest burden; and

WHEREAS, the horrific statistics presented by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) can only begin to be imagined:

  • Every one minute (2) African children become HIV-positive‚Ķevery one minute (1) African child dies of HIV/AIDS
  • 90 percent of all the world's new HIV infections are in Africa
  • One million children are infected each year
  • (16) countries in Africa have more than one-tenth of its population (aged 15-49) HIV infected
  • In (7) southern African countries, (1) out of every (5) adults is living with HIV and (80) percent of all deaths will be associated with HIV.
    • ZIMBABWE: More than 2,000 people die of AIDS each week
    • BOTSWANA: (35) percent of all adults are now infected with HIV
    • SOUTH AFRICA: With a total of (4.2) million infected people, South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world. (1) out of every (4) women between 20-29 are infected.
    • NIGERIA: The most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa now has (2.7) million people infected.
  • AIDS has created over (12.1) million orphans in Africa, out of a global total of (13.2) million AIDS orphans.

Numbers that seem to exponentially rise with each passing day; and

WHEREAS, the deadly HIV/AIDS medical issues in Africa are further complicated by myriad religious, social, cultural issues, such as not being able to talk about the disease; or people being identified with HIV being forced out of their communities, and even murdered; or the men in some areas committing rape because of the belief they can rid themselves of the HIV infection by having sexual contact with virgin females; and

WHEREAS, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC), an association representing 10,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals in 52 countries provides through its Southern African Regional Office, direct cutting edge initiatives, and

WHEREAS, IAPAC is about to launch ONE CHILD-ONE LIFE program through which the Chicago communities of faith have pledged to partner with IAPAC in a program that will support African children living with HIV/AIDS. Every $500 raised will provide medicines, tests, counseling and social services for a child for life; and

WHEREAS, these initiatives are of vital importance in assisting the entirely overwhelmed doctors and healthcare providers in these devastated countries to understand and better provide the diagnostic testing and social counseling related to drug adherence, as well as the prescribing of the actual medicines; and

WHEREAS, the need for assistance from the various social, political and religious communities of the developed world is crucial,

BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA joins in prayerful covenant to dedicate ourselves to compassionate concern for those people in Africa living with HIV/AIDS and those who live with and care for these people.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA acknowledges with sincere gratitude the efforts initiated by the valiant physicians of IAPAC and their support groups.