“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (NIV)
Faith plays a major role in the lives of many however it holds a special importance to many who are fighting the battle against HIV/AIDS in their personal lives on a daily basis. Their is a number of religions in the world however my focus will be on Christianity as I am a HIV + born again Christian.
This virus has so much stigma and discrimination already attached to it as it is seen as mainly a sexually transmitted disease. Many live in hiding with the condition living inside of them out of fear of how others will react, loss of employment, or the misguided judgements about how one contracted the virus. Faith is important in my daily walk with HIV because I know if it was not for Jesus Christ that I would not be able to make it through day to day, He gives me the strength to carry on.
I gave my life to the Jesus Christ when I was a young teenager. I had grown up in a home where both parents came from different religious backgrounds therefore they did not want to make us have to choose one or the other. When we moved to California we were invited to a non denominational Christian Church where we all became saved. At the time I did not really realize what being a Christian entailed however as I went through more trials throughout the following years I would truly find out what it was like to have a personal relationship with my savior.
I was caught in the web of methamphetamine drug addiction for over 5 years, survived death twice due to a reoccurring internal bacterial staph infection in my left leg, and later would be diagnosed with HIV. Throughout all of these years I have been a Christian, I would not say I am perfect nor ever have I been, only One is without sin. However going through all of these rough times in my life really made me realize what was important in life and how precious the time we have here truly is.
I hear so many bash Christianity, many who are HIV Positive, due to past experiences they might have had with someone who is “Christian”. I would like to point out that being a Christian is not about religion but rather a relationship. Is sex before marriage in Christianity considered a sin? Yes it is… I am not saying that I have not sinned by committing this action however I am also human. As it states in Romans “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. The Lord did not create sickness in order to punish anybody however He does give us the free will to make our own choices and also receive the consequences for our actions. No one deserves to get HIV/AIDS however it is something that does happen due to some like myself, who did not take the proper precautions to protect myself.
Many of my friends who are positive have such a negative outlook on Christians due to the view of some Christians when it comes to the issues of homosexuality and sexual liberty. I am an ally for LGBT equality and believe God wants us to show love for ALL.
This disease does not discriminate on so many levels including ones religious preferences. Their are steps that need to be taken in order for the church to help put a dent in this epidemic. The issue of “sin” needs to be taken out of the equation because if one does look at it from that angle, the eyes may be blinded. Am I promoting everyone to go out and have premarital sex? No… However if someone does make that choice then I want the church to be more involved in letting people know the risks they are putting themselves at and how they can protect themselves..
Simply ignoring a problem does not make it go away.
Just as a country who stays in isolation and never gets involved in conflict is not clear of impending danger in the future.
The Christian church as a whole needs much more education when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Many fear what they do not know and many feel they simply do not need to know. This virus is affecting everyone, including Christians like myself, and we need to get away from thinking of it as the modern day leprosy.
Millions have unprotected sex daily but yet only a handful contract this virus & many times from those who do not know their status. It is a matter of getting educated, getting tested, and loving ourselves enough to protect ourselves if we are going to make the choice to have sex.
The church needs to be more involved in this in my opinion in order for us to reach an HIV/AIDS free generation.
This is not just a gay disease, an iv drug user disease, something that happens to someone else.. This is happening to MANY including myself, I am a Christian but also HIV +.
Have I sinned ? Yes, every man has. Does that mean God doesn’t care about me ? Absolutely not. He only allows as much as we can bear and I lean on him for understanding. He helps me through on a daily basis and considers me every bit as worthy. I am not ashamed of my faith and thank God every day for the medicine available to myself as well as the doctors he has put in my path. Everything happens for a reason in my eyes and there is a reason I am walking this journey. With my faith alongside adherence to my daily ARV adherence, nothing can get me down. God bless all have a great day
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