Today, World AIDS Day 2011, is an occasion for reflection on the reality of AIDS in our world—its impact on those who have the disease and on those who care for them, its personal and social costs and the scourge of discrimination that too often surrounds it. For the years 2011-2015, the world focus is “Getting to Zero”—zero new infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.
“Getting to Zero” is a bold dream for the whole human family. “Getting to Zero” means a renewed commitment to compassion and justice. It means a deepening of our common prayer that God’s Holy Spirit might empower us to live as citizens and servants of God’s Kingdom.
Among the Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion, two especially speak to us on this day. “To respond to human need by loving service” is a call to Anglicans—personally and in community—to seek out the human face of AIDS and respond with practical compassion. We commend to Canadian Anglicans the work of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund as a trustworthy vehicle for generous giving. PWRDF supports HIV/AIDS ministry in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and in Canadian Indigenous communities.
The second—”To seek to transform unjust structures of society”—reminds us that AIDS is an economic as well as a medical catastrophe, that the profoundly distorted distribution of wealth in our world means that millions are dying unnecessarily, leaving a generation of orphans in sub-Saharan Africa as its legacy. World AIDS Day is a day to repent of this injustice and to work for the transformation that will end it.
On this day, let us give thanks for all those who have offered their knowledge, skill, compassion and resources to care to those whose lives are affected by AIDS.
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