In this issue:
Health care continues to be one of the top issues in the 2008 election. The Kaiser Family Foundation launched a website last July to provide analysis of health care issues and coverage from the campaign trail. The website includes side by side comparisons of the candidates' positions on a variety of health concerns, including HIV & AIDS. To have a look, go to: www.health08.org.
UCAN will post updated links and resources on or before October 13 for World AIDS Day 2008. The resources will include prayers, litanies, complete liturgies and fact sheets on the status of HIV & AIDS domestically and internationally. The resources may be downloaded free from the World AIDS Day section of the UCAN website at www.ucc.org/ucan and may be order from UCC Resources for the cost of shipping. To order call 1-800-537-3394, ask for the World AIDS Day Folder, item# WCMWAF.
In the September 12 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported the breakdown of the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by race/ethnicity, gender, manner of transmission, and age. This is the first time the CDC has been able to report on the HIV epidemic in this way. The CDC reports that young (13-29) black men who have sex with men (MSM), white MSM in their 30s and 40s, and black women are the populations most affected by HIV.
The report continues to show disproportionate HIV incidence among people of color. The number of new infections among young, black gay, bisexual and other black MSM was found to be approximately twice the number among whites and Latinos. Similarly, among Latino MSM, young Latino MSM have the highest rate of new HIV infections. White MSM accounted for approximately half the HIV incidence among all MSM, with most of their new infections occurring among men in their 30s and 40s.
The rate of HIV infection among black women was nearly 15 times that among white women. That is four times higher than the infection rate among Latinas and it was reported that Latinas had an infection rate 4 times that of white women.
Among Blacks, black men account for 2/3 of the infections found among blacks, and have a rate of infection 6 times higher than that of white men.
In the context of these statistics, the CDC emphasizes the importance of lifelong education and testing, especially in vulnerable populations. The groups that are mentioned in the CDC report as particularly vulnerable or at risk, are the groups that UCAN has identified as priorities in its efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and care for those living with and affected by HIV.
The full CDC report is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/factsheets/MMWR-incidence.htm
2008 marks the 20th year of World AIDS Day. The Riverside Church in New York will host an important event on November 30, the eve of World AIDS DAY, for which UCAN is a major participant. The event will include a blend of local, national and international groups coming together under one roof to share a moment of remembrance and inspiration moving forward in our efforts to defeat this global pandemic.
The program will include a salute to the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations "UNAIDS" Program, a briefing on Americas National Plan for HIV and AIDS, New York City, National and International Leaders sharing "How they will Keep the Promise", entertainment, a candle light remembrance, an HIV and AIDS Community Service Providers Village and a reception directly after the program.
The event takes place at 5.00pm on Sunday, November 30 at The Riverside Church located at 490 Riverside Drive (near 120th St.). It is free and open to the public.
For more information, including ways to volunteer:
Phone: (212) 870-6873
UCAN's online HIV prevention questionnaire available through October
We want to hear from you!
UCAN invites anyone connected to the United Church of Christ to share their views about HIV prevention, particularly for the UCC in various community settings. It is very important for us to learn from the experiences and perspectives around the church.
An online questionnaire is now available for you to share your responses to the following open-ended questions. Please take time to reflect on the following questions and then click the link below to go to the online the questionnaire. Questionnaire responses will be strictly confidential and data from this research will be reported only in the aggregate. Your information will be coded and will remain confidential.
- What do you think makes HIV prevention an urgent concern for the United Church of Christ?
- What biblical stories or scripture passages under gird your understanding or theology of HIV prevention?
- What are the faith values that inform why you think the UCC and other people of faith should be concerned and involved?
- From your perspective, what has happened in the history of the UCC that supports the UCC's involvement--our traditions, events in our history, previous General Synod actions?
- Based on your understanding and experience, what do you think are the essential components or strategies of HIV prevention for UCAN to include in its program and encourage and why?
- What public policy on HIV prevention would you like to see the General Synod encourage?
- What could we do to better share accountability for HIV prevention across the life of the church, not only in the national setting, but in all settings of the church?
If you have questions at any time about the survey or the procedures, you may contact Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer at 216-736-3217 or by email at the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to go to the questionnaire.
From UCC News…
In this age of natural disasters and injustice, it's refreshing to be reminded that ordinary people still can make a difference in the world. That reminder comes in the form of a new documentary called "Connecting Threads."
The video is the latest documentary produced by the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It will debut on NBC TV stations nationwide starting on Oct. 5, 2008.
"Connecting Threads" shows viewers how ordinary people are sharing their talents and time to work with others for a better world.
"It's not often that we have an opportunity to take a trip around the world in less than an hour," says the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, head of the UCC's communication department. "'Connecting Threads' enables viewers to experience diverse people, landscapes and religious perspectives; while being reminded that the Christian faith is global in its reach and inclusive in its mission."
The documentary takes viewers to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Southern Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East and Europe. "Watching 'Connecting Threads' brings the voices and lives of our global neighbor's right into our homes and hearts,." says Jan Aerie, a spokesperson for Global Ministries, a shared world ministry partnership of the UCC and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In 2007, Global Ministries had a total of 147 missionaries serving in 44 countries.
Although several NBC TV stations have already committed to showing it, many have not yet done so. The Connecting Threads website http://www.ucc.org/connecting-threads/ will soon have a list of all of the NBC stations, email address & phone numbers of the program managers. The website will include those already committed to broadcast it along with the airdates. If your local NBC TV station is not on the list to air Connecting Threads, please contact them to encourage them to do so, and please share this exciting information with others in your church and community.
For additional info go to: http://www.ucc.org/connecting-threads/
October 15- National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
February 7- National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
March 10- National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
http://www.womenshealth.gov/hiv/NWGHAAD/ (2008 event resources)
March 20- National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
http://www.nnaapc.org/news/awareness-day.htm (2008 site)
May 18- HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
May 19- National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
June 8- Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
http://www.caribbeanhealthaidsday.com/index.php (2008 resources)
June 27- National HIV Testing Day
http://www.napwa.org/programs/nhtd.shtml (2008 resources)