Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. A day to remember those lost and battling the disease.
AIDS was particularly cruel to my generation.
The crisis came to the forefront the year I graduated high school and the fear and misinformation attached to the disease was harmful to many.
Seen as ‘the gay disease” AIDS patients were attacked by the community, the church, the government, neighbors and family. Many felt like all the “right people were dying” from AIDS.
Thankfully through education, people have grown to understand that AIDS is a disease, it is not an indictment on any segment of the population.
The outbreak created an entire generation of activist, people whose lives were on the line and only had each other to fight the fight. AIDS brought Act UP, Global AIDS Alliance, AIDS Cure Project and many more.
Walks began, the AIDS Quilt was sewn together with the stories of those lost, bike rides, dances and more all formed with one common goal, raising research dollars for the fight against a pandemic.
As information about the disease has grown, many segments of the population have seen a decrease in the infection rates.
Sadly because of new drugs and longer life expectancy, the diligence of my generation has grown to an apathy from a younger generation.
AIDS stigmas have been prevalent in many countries around the world, most notably on the continent of Africa. One of the organizations that is making tremendous efforts towards educating the world is United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, 20/20 Visioning an AIDS Free World.
The United Methodist Church has placed grace and caring above stigma. UMC is reaching out to the world to help break the silence about AIDS and bring a cure. UMC and the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund is doing exactly what Jesus would do!
WWJD = UMGAF
I personally know a leader in this organization who has been working to ease the suffering of these victims for most of her young life. I first met Molly McEntire when she was 7 years old just a typical Preacher’s kid in my Church.
Molly grew into a wonderful young woman with a heart for missions and a caring for those in need. Today as a young lady in her 20s, Molly is a Youth and Young Adults Leader with the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.
Over the last several years, Molly has traveled to Kenya several times to bring hope and care to those afflicted with AIDS and those suffering because of the effects of AIDS on the community.
For caring, for providing grace, for demanding a world free of disease, this week’s Friday’s Hero is Molly McEntire, the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund and those who have fought for too long for a cure to this horrific disease.