HIV and Christianity

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Introduction In 1981 Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome(AIDS) was first identified as new disease.1,18 Human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) was later found to be the cause of AIDS1. TSince first identified over 60 million people have been infected and 25 million have died globaly18. The HIV virus is transmitted from an infected person to another through blood (including menstrual blood), semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk.1 It is estimated that 33.2% of the world's population is Christian18Christianity is a religion that originated long before the onset of AIDs and involves Christians whose belief is centered on Jesus Christ. Inspite of common belief Christians are not a homologus group, different branches of Christianity are called denominations, and their traditions and interpretation of the bible might be slightly different. Most countries with a high prevalence of HIV also have a large percentage of Christians.(Figure 1) This essay aims to consider the relationship between HIV and Christianity and the factors that affect HIV infected Christians including how Christian beliefs affect the spread of HIV. The Role of Christianity in Prevention of the spread of HIV HIV can be transmitted through activities such as unprotected sexual contact, sharing needles and rarely blood products.HIV can also be transmitted to a baby before or during birth, or through ingested breast milk. Prevention of HIV focuses on preventing the exchange of bodily fluids through education and behaviour modification. The risk of HIV through the sharing of drug needles is reduced compared because nearly all denominations discourage harmful activities such as injecting drugs because they believe the bible says physical body is ... ... middle of paper ... ... with HIV/AIDS. J Gen Intern Med 2006, 21:S5-S13. 11. Pargament KI, McCarthy S, Shah P, Ano G, Tarakeshwar N, Wachholtz A, Sirrine N, Vasconcelles E, Murray-Swank N, Locher A, Duggan J: Religion and HIV: A review of the literature and clinical implications. Southern Med J 2004, 97:1201-1209 12. Ironson G, Stuetzle R, Fletcher MA: An increase in religiousness/spirituality occurs after HIV diagnosis and predicts slower disease progression over 4 years in people with HIV.J Gen Intern Med 2006, 21:S62-S68. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL 13. Kaldjian LC, Jekel JF, Friedland G: End-of-life decisions in HIV-positive patients: The role of spiritual beliefs.AIDS 1998, 12:103-107. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL 14. Haddad B. Reflections on the church and HIV/AIDS: South Africa. Theol Today. 2005;62(1):29–37.

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