I remember early on in the epidemic hearing many of our church leaders saying much similar things as Jerry Falwell did about AIDS and gays. I remember asking my journalism professor if they didn't have it wrong, wasn't it more about a judgment on Christians who were not helping these people? Just like those who would not help the sick man laying in the street, but the Samaritan, supposedly a heathen, did? He looked at me kind of funny, and said maybe I was on to something there.
I am sure others had the same thought, I only know I didn't think much more about the ramifications of that thought, or the ramifications of the statements like Jerry Falwell's which spread faster than the HIV virus itself, infecting minds everywhere with the belief that those infected must have some how deserved it so why should we fight it? The fruit of Jerry Falwell's statement has been that all over the world AIDS has claimed more than 25 million lives, and one in six are children. The result of not acting as a "Samaritan" in those early days, will haunt many of us the rest of our lives.
At the end of 2007, there were 2 million children living with HIV. An estimated 370,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2007. Of the 2 million people who died of AIDS during 2007, more than one in seven were children. Every hour, around 31 children die as a result of AIDS. At the end of 2007, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and for 59% in sub-Saharan Africa. Young people (under 25 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide. There are nearly 12 million "AIDS Orphans" around the world, children who live largely in the Sub-Sahara regions of Africa. This is the fruit of those who spread their hate. Their forever legacy to humanity.
There is a movie out called 'The African Campaign' by Jersey Number Nine Productions, that has yet to be broadcast in the United States, it puts a new spin on the idea of AIDS as a judgment from God.
Launched in early 2008 in the UK and Europe, ‘The African Campaign’ is the controversial 're-telling' of the most heinous myth surrounding AIDS’ origin. In fundamentalist circles, it is believed that AIDS is a God-caused plague, the result of God’s displeasure with the LGBT lifestyle. Rather than deny this falsehood, the makers of ‘The African Campaign’ choose to change the myth, like Shelley reinterpreted Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. In ‘The African Campaign’, heroes are those who suffer God’s viral wrath, challenge His hypocrisy, and free themselves to find love elsewhere.
Four friends from the 16th century, who discovered a ritual that empowered them to defy God and his Angel of Death, are forced into an untimely reunion in present-day London when one of them contracts AIDS: God's viral revenge. 'The African Campaign' is the story of their battle. -- Synopsis from Jersey Number Nine website.
You can catch the trailer on YouTube, or see it below, and then contact the LOGO channel or here!TV to ask them to broadcast it if you would like to see more.