Friday, February 26, 2010

Release 2010 Training

For those of you who were unable to attend the training this past Saturday for Release 2010, here is a summary re-cap of the AIDS specific training. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail them to or talk to any of our IV staff.

Video #1: Hidden Faces of AIDS

(Click on the title of the videos to play)

Pretty intense, isn't it? I've seen that movie numerous times and every time the story of the mother asking that her children die before she does kills me. In the western world we often say that one of the worst things a parent could face is having to bury their own children, but this mother is wishing for that, so her children would not be left alone and abandoned.

We didn't show this video in an attempt overwhelm you. We just wanted to put a human connection to this issue right from the beginning. This is an issue effecting real people, real mothers, fathers, siblings, children, and real communities with real stories of pain and broken hearts.

The magnitude of this issue is undeniable. It’s severity is incomprehensible. But, we don’t want to be paralyzed. We don’t want to throw statistics and pictures and videos at you to make you feel ill-equipped to take action. We want to show that in the midst of this horrible situation there is hope and there is something we can do.

We have two options in this: we let ourselves become overwhelmed and give-up saying, "There's no way we can do anything," or we can grab hold of the hope, the promise for change, and fight for that.

Let's do the second.
Doing something requires some education. So, that's what we want to give you. A brief overview of the issue and what we're doing to fight it.

We have 4-facts we want you to remember. These provide the base for our understanding on this issue.

4 Facts:
1. AIDS is one of many global crises we face today, but many consider it to be the WORST of our time
2. AIDS exists all over the world but it’s the WORST in Africa
3. AIDS is horrible for everyone, but it’s the WORST on kids
4.The plight of the AIDS orphan is fixable and the WORST thing is that it’s not fixed yet.

Keeping those 4 facts in mind, let’s take a look at some other information about AIDS.

History: The exact origin of AIDS is debated among scientists and historians. However, research indicates that HIV originated in primates in west-central Africa during the late 19th century or early 20th century and spread from these animals to humans. AIDS is thought to have arrived in Haiti in the 1960s from the Congo and then spread from Haiti to the United States in the late 1960s. The first "official case of AIDS was reported reported in 1981 in a group of homosexual men in Los Angeles. The virus was first referred to as "killer pneumonia" and was recognized by the CDC as GRID (Gay-related Immune Deficiency virus). In 1982, after further research, it was discovered that the disease was not isolated to the homosexual community and was officially recognized as AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

Science: AIDS is the most progressive acceleration of the HIV virus. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk. AIDS progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to infections and tumors. AIDS destroys the body's natural defense system so that something as "minor" as a cold is life threatening. This is why the virus is often referred to as "The Cough" is developing nations. Symptoms of AIDS often include fevers, sweats, chills, severe weight loss and weakness. In the absence of antiretroviral therapy, the median time of progression from HIV infection to AIDS is 9-10 years. The average survival time after developing AIDS is only 9.2 months

Treatment: Currently there is no vaccine or cure for AIDS. Antiretroviral treatments are the best bet for reduces both the mortality and severity of the infection. However, these drugs are expensive and access is limited to wealthy, developed countries. Experts say that prevention and education are the keys to controlling the pandemic, with promotion of safe-sex and needle-exchange programs.
Aids Today: 34 Million People are Infected – 75% of which are in Africa.

More than 15 million children are AIDS orphans.

More than 1 in 20 children in sub-Saharan Africa have become orphans because of AIDS.

Every 90 seconds another child becomes infected, most during pregnancy, birth, and breast feeding.


But AIDS is so much more than numbers.

It's the face of this HIV-postitive mother, Vilote and her daughter, born without HIV.

It's these orphans.

It's the face of this girl, Hilda.
And her grandmother, Theresa, the rest of her family killed by AIDS.

It's this funeral, one of too many that happen on a regular basis.
And, it’s this little girl Maggie and her story.

We CAN do something about this.

And we are. If you were at the teaser training you heard us talk a little about the fact that doing nothing sucks. It doesn’t grow us individually or as a community, and it doesn’t produce fruit. It leaves these children without a voice and without the support that we CAN give. For those of you in a small-group Bible Study with InterVarsity this semester, you know that James tells us that faith without action is dead and useless. We don't want dead faith. We want to live out our faith in real, tangible ways.

So, we are doing something.

During the week of Release 2010 there will be numerous opportunities to get involved. You can join us by signing up to work a Proxe station for an hour Tuesday-Thursday, partaking in the "Eat Like an Orphan" meal on Wednesday, buying a bright orange ORPHAN t-shirt and wearing it around campus this week, inviting friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and church members to our campus wide forum on Wednesday night in the Cline Library Auditorium at 8pm and the Invite Night "Jesus and the AIDS Orphan on Thursday night in Chem106 at 8pm.

And, you can ask people to give, to give generously to support our fundraising goal. Our goal is to raise $10,000. $5000 of this will go toward constructing a home for orphans and the remaining $5000 to provide food, clean water, education, and health care to these kids.

Think about it: College students in Flagstaff, Arizona stepping out saying that we want to put feet to our faith, that we want to impact this world for Jesus, that we want to make a difference in the lives of children whom we've never met, to speak out against injustice, and to share the hope of Jesus and His heart for justice with students on our campus.

We can do this by giving generously, by rallying others to give generously (family, friends, churches, etc.), and by getting involved in one, many, or all of the above mentioned ways during this week.

Together, focused on Jesus, we can be a part of a different story - a story of hope.

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