This World AIDS Day (1 December 2012), we’re remembering all those around the world who are affected by HIV. Millions of people are HIV+ or have friends or family members who live with HIV.
For many of them, life is good. Thanks to the hard work of Tearfund and other organisations, as well as the UN, governments and local health services in many countries, many people are able to get hold of the medication they need, usually without having to pay for it.
For some people, the struggle continues. This year, our attention turns to Russia where HIV continues to spread, mostly among people who use intravenous drugs.
Tearfund have worked with local churches in Russia for ten years to help them reach out to people affected by HIV. We have commissioned the first ever set of research into the links between sexual abuse and drug addiction in Russia, and we’ve found that one in five women who use drugs in Russia was sexually abused as a child.
Our hearts break for women who live with the trauma and shame of sexual violence, especially in places like Russia where there is a lot of stigma and it’s hard to get help.
Behind Closed Doors: the hidden story of sexual violence and substance abuse is published for World AIDS Day this year, and we hope and pray that it is a call to action to all the churches, charities and local organisations in Russia as well as the Russian government, so that they will join together in helping women find the support they need.
Please pray with us:
Father, we thank you for the millions of people living with HIV who have a hope and a future.
We grieve with those who have lost loved ones or who find life extremely difficult because they are affected by HIV.
We particularly remember those in Russia who have experienced abuse and trauma. We ask for mercy and for help to come quickly. We pray that women who have been abused will find your grace to break the cycle of harm and will be spared from being caught up in the sex trade or going on to use illegal drugs.
We celebrate with the HIV+ mothers who have given birth to HIV-free children and we thank you for this glimpse of glory; this insight into how the world could be, should be and one day will be. We continue to pray for your kingdom to come for men, women and children affected by HIV.
Help us to remember, this World AIDS Day, that, together with our brothers and sisters around the world, we are your church. Help us to be part of meeting each others’ needs.
In Jesus’ name we pray