Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
Our service this year focuses on the effect HIV has had on women around the world. Globally, women remain at a much higher risk of infection due to genderbased violence, poverty induced prostitution, poor access to education and healthcare and legal restrictions.
We also remember the mothers of the 3.2 million children and 4 million young adults who are living with HIV, for those who have had to deal with a sense of guilt due to mothertochildtransmission or witness prejudice against their children not only for their positivestatus but because of their addictions, gender or sexuality.
World AIDS Day falls within the season of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming as the child born of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
May we pray that women throughout the world may be empowered and inspired by Mary’s readiness to become the Mother of Christ.
May we stand before the cross with Mary, beside all who mourn, sharing in their sorrow.
May we go filled with the joy and hope found in Immanuel. God who came to live and die among us, who proclaimed Good News to the poor, gave sight to the blind and set the oppressed free, who through the cross and resurrection has set us free from death.
To listen to the music that was used during the service, click here to open a Spotify playlist.
You can download the rest of the order of service here.