What is HIV and AIDS?
What is HIV and AIDS?
- HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
- HIV lives in the blood and other body fluids that contain blood or white blood cells.
- HIV attacks the "T Cells" which are command cells of the immune system, weakening the body's defense against infection.
- Left untreated, persons become vulnerable to opportunistic infections which cause illness and can lead to death.
HIV can be transmitted through:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV-infected person.
- Sharing drug injection equipment (needles) or being stuck by needles or sharp objects contaminated with infected blood.
- From mother to child during child birth or through breast feeding if the mother is HIV positive
- Receiving blood products or transplant organs from an HIV positive donor. (This is extremely rare in the U.S. because blood products are routinely screened for HIV.)
HIV and AIDS is a Global Pandemic (the U.S. is part of the globe):
Who is hardest hit in the U.S.?
- People of color, African Americans and Latinos, account for a disproportionate share of HIV infections relative to their population.
- Women of color are particularly affected. Black women accounted for two thirds of new AIDS cases among women in 2007; Latinas represented 15% and white women, 17%.
- Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accounted for 53% of new HIV infections in 2006
- Younger, especially young men of color are at particularly high risk. Young men between the ages of 13 and 29 accounted for 38%, even higher among young Black men, 52%.
What can we do? Become an HIV Competent Church:
- Join UCAN, the UCC's HIV & AIDS Network
- Provide information, basic HIV 101
- Know your HIV status
- Know the HIV epidemic in your community
- Use the UCC's HIV Prevention Curriculum: Affirming Persons, Saving Lives
- Teach comprehensive sexuality education using Our Whole Lives
- Offer services in collaboration with local agencies for
What is UCAN Doing?
UCAN's Vision Questions:
- How can we put ourselves in the best position to provide critical presence at the points of deepest need in response to HIV and AIDS?
- How can we build meaningful and sustain relationships and participation with UCAN?
Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer
Executive Director UCAN, Inc.
700 Prospect Ave E
Cleveland, Ohio 44115