The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), continues to affect millions. It is spread through sexual contact with an infected person, through sharing needles, through blood transfusions, or from an infected mother to her child.

It is estimated that of the tens of millions living with AIDS, almost half are unware of their HIV-positive status. While medical treatment has come a long way in helping people deal with AIDS, the best medicine is still preventative—don’t do drugs or have sex outside of marriage; and use protection if your spouse is infected. It is vital to receive a good education about our health since people often have strange ideas about how illnesses are spread, especially AIDS. One false rumor was that HIV could be contracted from toilet seats.

God designed that sexual intimacy be experienced within the protection of the marriage covenant. Protect your marriage by avoidingpremarital sex and staying faithful to your spouse.

The apostle Paul compared the church to a human body. He wrote, “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor. 12:24-26). This text, although specifically about spiritual gifts, also gives us a clue as to how to respond to those around us suffering from HIV/AIDS. For anyone with an ounce of empathy, it should be obvious that bashing people who are suffering from a lethal disease over the head with Scripture is not the way of Jesus. We need to offer grace, hope, and compassion. We need to grieve with those in pain, but also come alongside them to offer whatever help and education we have, and to help them become healthy members of the body of Christ.

For a deeper understanding of the issue involved, we suggest people go to the following link: