Friday, November 30, 2012

A message from the Primate on World AIDS Day

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Anglican Church of Canada November 30, 2012 -  The John Wesley Centre, a PWRDF project in South Africa, cares for children whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS.World AIDS Day confronts us with the staggering statistic that in the past 30 years more than 30 million people have died of AIDS, and that 34 million still live with HIV today. In combating HIV/AIDS we have such a long way to go. However when we can, we should celebrate progress. This year's International AIDS Conference noted considerable advances in better medication, greater access for many more people to antiretroviral therapy, and major achievements in preventing the spread of HIV at birth.

World AIDS Day is an occasion to pray for all those who live with HIV and AIDS and all who care for them. It's a day to stand in solidarity with all who put so much energy in preventing the spread of this virus through comprehensive education programs.

Through the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) our church continues its commitment to HIV/AIDS-related projects in a number of places. Our work in Keiskamma, South Africa is focussed on prevention of the transmission of HIV from mother to child. In El Salvador we support youth initiatives in preventing the spread of HIV. In Burundi we have helped build clinics for HIV/AIDS in Bujumbura and in Ramunge.

This year's Gift Guide in support of the ministries of The Anglican Church of Canada highlights a wonderful project supported through PWRDF. The John Wesley Centre in Johannesburg cares for children orphaned through the death of one or both parents to AIDS. They receive a hot meal every day. They get help with their homework and they enjoy a safe place to play. Forty dollars provides for a week of such tender loving care.

As we observe World AIDS Day this year, can I suggest that we light candles and offer prayers and that we offer gifts and light up the faces of children.

+Fred Archbishop and Primate

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