Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Reflection on World AIDS Day

My apologies to those of you who have made a habit of visiting this blog.  I've been so busy lately that I have very little time to think, let alone write anything.   But this morning, as I listened to the first portion of Psalm 18, I heard words that seemed appropriate for World AIDS Day:

The breakers of death rolled over me,
    and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.

The cords of hell entangled me,
and the snares of death were set for me.

I called upon the Lord in my distress,
and cried out to my God for help.

He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling;
my cry of anguish came to his ears.
I found my mind recalling various faces of friends and acquaintances who have died of complications from HIV infection; of seeing the AIDS quilt, both laid out in near-fullness on the Mall in Washington, DC, in 1993... and a few panels at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Gainesville.  I thought about the shame heaped on those living with HIV, and how so many especially 30 years ago... would lose the love of their families as they lay dying in hospitals.  And I thought how these words sounded very much like the kind of prayer the persecuted patient might have been praying.

Scientists have made huge breakthroughs in the 30 years with the antiretroviral drugs, but there are still almost 40-thousand new cases of HIV infection every year.  And there are those who cast all caution to the wind and intentionally go out to get infected, a phenomenon I simply don't understand.

As I remember those who have died, I continue to pray that we will continue funding the research to work us toward eradicating HIV/AIDS here and abroad. 

1 comment:

Phoebe McFarlin said...

Thank you for this thoughtful entry. It made me remember the many contacts I have had with those who lost the struggle with AIDS, and the loved ones who mourned.