Petition 81099

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Reassess HIV/AIDS Policy (81099-C2-R9999)

Add new resolution as follows:
  
Whereas Jesus healed the sick and the stigmatized;  
  
And whereas his healing was generally gently given and voluntarily received;  
  
And whereas the Church seeks to follow His example in its worldwide healing ministry;  
  
And whereas tens of millions are said to bear the stigma of HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa;  
  
And whereas the consequences can include childlessness, with the resulting termination of millions of family lines;  
        
        And whereas lifelong drug treatments, which can have severe side effects, are given to those said to have AIDS;    
  
        And whereas none of those said to have HIV or AIDS have been cured by drug treatments;   
  
        And whereas some scientists and officials have raised basic concerns regarding HIV/AIDS assumptions, causes, tests and treatments, as well as the possible mistaken stigmatizing of some racial groups;  
  
And whereas we fallible humans need to continually be aware of the potential for error and room for improvement, particularly in trying to understand a creation of God as magnificent as our body's healing immune system, so as to correct such errors as may be found and to better help those who are sick.   
        
        Therefore be it resolved, that the General Conference 2008 urge the United States government and the United Nations to convene promptly an open forum at which these concerns and other concerns with current HIV/AIDS policy can be debated publicly, open to all views and willing to consider alternate approaches and causes, with the objective of finding the best possible outcome for those said to have HIV or AIDS, and for the broader society as well.
  
And further be it resolved, that General Conference 2008 ask the General Board of Church and Society and the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church to hear such views and concerns, so that the Church may decide how best, in Christ's spirit, to help those bearing the stigma of HIV, and those who are sick.

Rationale

Current AIDS policy cures no one, imposes lifelong stigma, and renders the sufferers childless, through lifelong “safe sex”.  There are profound unanswered questions regarding scientific basis, HIV tests, drug treatments, and racial bias.  A reexamination may lead to better outcomes.