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The Church and the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic (80438-GM-R298)

Revise Resolution 298, The Church and the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic, as follows:


Revise second paragraph as follows:
The Global Impact of HIV/AIDS
The global statistics are grim. At the end of 2002, 42  2006, 39.5 million adults and children were living with HIV/AIDS in the world; of these 38.6  37.2 million were adults and 3.2  2.3 million were children.  under 15 years. In 2002 alone, 3.1 million people died from AIDS-related causes, including 1.2 million women and 610,000 children under the age of 15. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of people with HIV/AIDS: 29.4 million adults and children, with 58 percent of those infected being women. Although the region has 30 percent of the world's population, it has 70 percent of those living with HIV/AIDS. Between 2002 and 2010, an additional 42 million people are expected to become infected with HIV in 126 low and middle-income countries. More than 40 percent of the projected new cases of HIV will be people living in the Asia and Pacific regions.1 [footnote]  


Add new heading above fifth paragraph:
Women and Children
Women and children have been affected in increasing numbers. Deaths from AIDS have left 13 million orphans in Africa; the number is expected to rise to 25 million by 2010. These children are being looked after by extended families, older siblings in child-headed households, and orphan trusts. Older relatives, especially women, have to bear an enormous burden of taking care of the orphans. In countries that are also affected by war and civil strife, children and young people are more vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV because they are at the higher risk of sexual abuse, forced military recruitment and prostitution.

  
Amend sixth paragraph:
This burden is increased when women are also faced with stigma and discrimination and the hardships of civil strife, war, and famine. Women often have less status and less access to education, health care, and economic security than men, which in turn affect their ability to protect themselves from infection. Many cannot say "no" or negotiate the use of condoms because they fear they will be divorced or that their husband or other male partner will respond by battering them. Pregnant women who are HIV positive may be subjected to forced sterilizations or abortions. The use of rape and sexual violence as instruments of war adds a further serious dimension.  As of 2006 according to UNAIDS, 17.7 million of the 39.5 persons infected with AIDS are women.

  
Insert new “Drugs and AIDS” section after eighth paragraph:
The suffering borne by individuals, families, and communities and the strain placed on health-care facilities and national economies, call for intensified cooperative efforts by every sector of society, including the church, to slow and prevent the spread of HIV, provide appropriate care of those already ill and speed the development of an effective and affordable vaccine. Those caring for AIDS patients need support too. Communities, health-care workers, and home-care programs must be equipped to meet the challenge.
Drugs and AIDS
Of the 40 million persons living with HIV, two to three million are injecting drug users. Many more have used, and continue to use, alcohol and other drugs.
  
The international drug trade knows no boundaries or frontiers and has no specific national identity. It is now worth an estimated $400 billion per year and is organized and managed like a multinational corporation. Drugs of all kinds are now produced in all regions of the world. Despite its illegality, drug production and distribution has become a major source of revenue for many countries. The most lucrative markets remain in the United States and Western Europe, but consumption is spreading fast in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and throughout Africa.
  
In the United States, an estimated one-third of HIV/AIDS cases are related to injecting drug use. Substance abuse is directly tied to the increase in HIV/AIDS among women. Women are primarily infected with HIV through injecting drugs (48 percent) or heterosexual transmission from an infected partner, who is often himself a drug user (54 percent).
  
Research has shown over and over again that drug use, injected or otherwise, can affect decision-making, especially about engaging in unsafe sex, which in turn promotes the spread of AIDS. A research study conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse revealed that of the 15- to 24-year-olds surveyed:
  • 50 percent say "people their age" mix alcohol or drugs and sex "a lot."
  • 73 percent believe that their peers often don't use condoms when alcohol and drugs are in the picture.
  • 37 percent want more information about how alcohol or drugs might affect their decisions about having sex.

      
    Amend introduction to call to action as follows:
    The United Methodist Church urges:  Recommendations:
    In response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the world, The United Methodist Church commits itself to a holistic approach of awareness, education, prevention, treatment, community organizing and public advocacy. Out of our love and concern for our brothers, sisters and children in our local and global communities, the following actions are strongly recommended.

      
    Amend Section A, on local congregations, revising point four and adding new action points 6, 7, 8 and 9, as follows:
    A.  Local congregations worldwide to:
    [...]
    4. advocate for increased levels of funding for HIV/AIDS. In the United States, persons should contact their U.S. Congresspersons and urge adequate funding for the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria as well as the United States' bilateral initiatives on AIDS. Additionally, funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) must be guaranteed from the United States each year. UNFPA works diligently to provide resources for reproductive health of women and girls as well as HIV/AIDS prevention; and
    5. observe World AIDS Day on or around December 1 each year. Materials for World AIDS Day are available from the Web sites of UNAIDS (http:/www.unaids.org), the General Board of Global Ministries (http:/gbgm-umc.org/health/), and the General Board of Church and Society (http:/www.umc-gbcs.org).
    6. include problems of alcohol, drug abuse and unsafe sex and the value of abstinence as part of Christian education;
    7. provide support, comfort and care to those afflicted with alcohol-related problems, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS within their given mandate;
    8. make available creative programs and activities for school children, youth and young adults that keep them away from alcohol and drug abuse; and
    9. promote and make available peer education models based on empowerment and self-determination.
       
      
    Amend Section B, on general program agencies, inserting new action points 9 and 10, as follows:
    B.  General program agencies to:
    [...]
    8. support programs that focus on the enhancement of women through economic justice and education as well as programs that provide comprehensive reproductive health services, family planning, and HIV/AIDS prevention information.
    9. work cooperatively with the Office of the Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) of the General Board of Global Ministries on issues related to drugs and AIDS;
    10. urge the Federal Government to improve interagency cooperation and coordination to fight the double scourge of drugs and AIDS. (General Board of Church & Society and General Board of Global Ministries).
    Amend Section C, on Annual Conferences, deleting point four:
    C.  Annual Conferences to:
    [...]
    4. support denominational global AIDS programs by encouraging congregations to prepare Healthy Homes Healthy Families Kits (http://gbgm-umc.org/health/hfk/) and contribute to Advance Specials such as Global HIV/AIDS Program Development #982345-7, Home-Based Care: Caring for HIV/AIDS Orphans #199545-2, AIDS Orphans Trust #982842-6. 2 [footnote]