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Loving Stigma

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 ESV

Living with stigma is not an easy thing. Many people around the world face stigma and discrimination on a daily basis but for none is it so palpable as for those living with HIV/AIDS. The general belief is that people with HIV are promiscuous and that when you have the virus your death certificate is signed and sealed. As a result HIV-positive individuals enter a deep depression. Some even begin to live up to the stereotype of being promiscuous because of rejection by family, friends, co-workers and even health care providers and health care workers–the very ones who are supposed to help and support them.

There was a time in Earth’s history when it wasn’t popular to be a Christian either. In fact, it was never popular and will never be popular to be a true Christian. There was a time when our predecessors were thrown to the lions, beaten to death, burned at the stake–tortured death just because they worship Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. We were sold by our families, rejected, spat upon, for our “status”: Christ-positive.

Let us, therefore, embrace the stigmatised and love the HIV-positive people as Christ loves them, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the drunkards, the homeless, the lepers, the criminals, and many others who are the outcasts of society. For “God is love” (1 John 4:8, ESV).

Almighty Father in Heaven, You are so mighty that even a whisper from You can move mountains. I pray that You will move the mountains in our hearts that we may love with Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Please note: Sexual intercourse is not the only way in which the virus is transmitted. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be transmitted via blood transfusions, hypodermic needles penetrating the skin, during birth and via breastfeeding. Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) enable HIV-positive people to live long fulfilling lives.