The Skeptics Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis
I read this from another book (which I will be reviewing in a forthcoming post), but it is a good intro into why we need to be aware of the information in The Skeptic's Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis:
"the doctor stands up & suggests that we visit the medical ward, which lies just across the hall. 'Medical Ward' is a shocking euphemism, because in truth it is not a medical ward at all. It is a place where Malawians come to die of AIDS. There is no medicine in the medical ward. The room has a posted occupancy rate of 150 beds. There are 450 people in the ward....
The room is filled with moans. This is a dying chamber where three quarters or more of the people this day are in late-stage AIDS without medicines. Family members sit by the bed, swabbing dried lips & watching their loved ones die....[the doctor] knows what could be done. He knows that each of these patients could rise from the deathbed but for the want of a dollar a day. He knows the problem is not one of infrastructure or logistics or adherence. He knows that the problem is simply that the world has seen fit to look away as hundreds of impoverished Malawians die this day as a result of their poverty."
This is not meant to be sensational or judgmental. This is the truth. And the fact is, it is only one area. There are scores of places like this in Africa, Southeast Asia & other developing areas. This is why The Skeptic's Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis is such an important book.
This book is laid out in question & answer format, & answers questions on health issues, economic impact, politics & culture. It also gives tangible ways you & I & our churches can get involved & help. One of the most important things we can do is very simple - get informed. Educate ourselves on the facts & then share that knowledge with others. Again, this book is very helpful for that use.
This is just a starting point. You may or may not be called to work or volunteer with AIDS research or relief work, but we can all be advocates for change to make the world a better place. Check out the ONE link on the right of this blog for more information.
At the end of this book, Ms. Bourke answers questions about what we can do. I would like to quote one of those to conclude.
"How can I get my congregation involved?
Congregations, service clubs, schools, & other groups all have the potential to raise awareness & significant funds for fighting HIV/AIDS.
You might start by asking if it is possible to start a task force or to offer a class in HIV/AIDS. There are materials available from denominations as well as through data.org. You could also put together a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS & use it as an opportunity to bring a speaker in to talk about the situation.
If your congregation is interested in becoming involved in advocacy, Bread for the World has a program called "an offering of letters" in which congregations are asked to write letters to members of Congress & other public officials. You can find information at breadfortheworld.org. Other organizations also sponsor advocacy campaigns & will provide free materials for your group.
You might also consider ordering some of the free materials available from UNAIDS, WHO, the CDC, & many of the humanitarian organizations & placing them in your church or school library."
You can pick this book up for 20% off here.
Category: Social Justice