HIV/AIDS, the Biblical Mandate and Social Action

By Ediomo-Ubong Nelson

The concept of social justice refers to “fairness in the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens”. In recent history, few phenomena have highlighted the nature of injustice in the human society like HIV/AIDS. The different dimensions of the epidemic reveal the fissures of inequities and injustices in the organization of society at all levels. For example, gender disparity in the distribution of the disease burden is now common knowledge. Sexual intercourse is the most dominant mode of transmission of the disease and women are at greater risk of infection with HIV through sex.

What are the roles of the church in this process? Are we to view the epidemic as a challenge or an opportunity? What is the rationale for a Christian action to stem the impact of HIV/AIDS in our society? Is there a biblical mandate for the church to act in times like these? If there is, what have we done with it? In what ways are we actively engaging with the problem of HIV/AIDS in our domains? These questions should constantly exercise our minds as we consider integral mission and the place of the church.