Saturday, December 3, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011 at St Aidan's

The World AIDS Day theme for 2011-2015 is drawn from the new UNAIDS Strategy “Getting to Zero,” which focuses on zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero aids-related deaths. The liturgy used at St Aidan's on December 1, 2011 focused on the concept of “Zero Discrimination.”

The on-going discrimination and stigmatisation of people living with HIV is a major issue. People are still afraid to talk openly about their status in our congregations, communities

and society. Despite the fact that we have clear legislation on non-discrimination, people living with HIV, counsellors, social workers, and AIDS-service organizations, tell numerous incidents of neglect and stigmatisation of people living with HIV.

The liturgy sought to encourage each and every one of us to understand and promote Zero Discrimination in our specific contexts and church communities. Many have talked about discrimination, written about it, protested about it. Rather than just provide more words, we hope that the liturgy, using images and drama, modeled acceptance and inclusion.

The center of the worship space was the AIDS Names Panel Quilt created by the parish of St Aidan's honoring the men who died from the congregation in the 80's and 90's.