Saturday, July 10, 2010

Encouraging All Presbyterians to Know their HIV Status

The Presbyterian News Service reports that Overture 19-05, Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church: Prophetic Witness and Compassionate Action, passed late on Friday night. Overture 19-02, On Encouraging all Presbyterians to Know Their HIV Status, was answered by 19-05.
The report of the Assembly Committee on Health Issues closed out a long evening of business on Friday at the 219th General Assembly (2010).

Among the items approved by the Assembly was an overture encouraging all Presbyterians, especially pastors and church leaders, to be tested for HIV to help eliminate the stigma associated with such testing.

A theological student advisory delegate polled the Assembly with a show of hands to see who had been tested at this Assembly. After seeing the lack of raised hands, he said, “I see why this amendment is needed.”

The Assembly approved a floor amendment encouraging the PC(USA) to develop educational materials to discourage discrimination of HIV+ individuals as well as adding “Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C” wherever HIV and AIDS appear in the overture’s text.

Also approved was a second HIV/AIDS-related overture that directs the Stated Clerk to send a letter to the President of the United States and the governors of all 50 states to implement HIV testing and prevention awareness in prisons and correctional facilities.

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