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Sunday’s Compassion Forum Focus: Global HIV/AIDS

CNN is starting to plug Sunday’s Compassion Forum.

Faith leaders will converse with presidential candidates about poverty, global HIV/AIDS, genocide and Darfur, climate change, human rights and torture.


As people of faith realize that their spiritual connection transcends ideology and geography, interesting combinations of voices have emerged. For example, megachurch pastor Rick Warren hosting Sen. Hillary Clinton for an HIV/AIDS conference with his Orange County congregation.

It’s not sure politicians and pastors who are realigning their priorities, rock stars are doing this as well.

It can be easy to dismiss the rhetoric of these folks, especially in the faith community, a significant number of whom stood silent during the height of the American epidemic during the 80s and 90s. But here is evangelical pastor Rick Warren’s website outlaying a “purpose driven” approach to caring for HIV/AIDS patients.

AIDS/HIV hits minority communities especially hard, all around the world. Because of the geographical and minority barriers, the issue often receives little Congressional attention. The Balm In Gilead operates the nation’s only HIV/AIDS technical assistance center designed specifically to serve churches as well as public agencies and community-based organizations that wish to work with Black churches on AIDS issues.

Question: Is health care a human right? If so, does the U.S. have a moral obligation to address the AIDS pandemic around the world? What about other diseases? Do you think the focus on HIV/AIDS distracts from other world health concerns?

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