Advent Devotion Five 12.1.16

untitled World AIDS Day

36.7 million people were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2015. That’s close to the entire population of California.

Of those 36.7 million people, 25.6 million are living in Sub Saharan Africa. There is no way to fully calculate the devastation that this is causing in that area.

Of the 36.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS, 1.8 million are children. Most contracted the virus from their mothers.

In 2015, Cuba became the first country to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis. In 2016, Armenia, Belarus, and Thailand also received this designation.

Only 60% of the people with HIV know their status.

2.1 million people were newly infected in 2015.

1.1 million people died of HIV/AIDS in 2015.

35 million people total have died of HIV/AIDS.

While 46% of those with HIV/AIDS are receiving antiretroviral treatment, neither a cure nor a vaccine is available largely due to underfunding of research and development.

And before you glaze over from all of these remote statistics, remember that each and every one of these numbers represents people. With families and friends. Individual human beings. Created in the image of God. Many of whom feel forgotten or stigmatized because of their disease. And several of whom are part of the LUCC church family.

Prayer: In these dark days, may I trust that the light of Christ still shines. May the light of comfort and compassion shine brightly for those living with HIV/AIDS. Amen.

Note: Statistics cited in this post are from the World Health Organization.

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