Recently, it’s been hard for me to get into reading the Bible, but on December 1, I felt compelled to read the tale of Jesus healing a group of lepers in Luke.It seemed appropriate, after all, given that it was World AIDS Day, an international day of awareness around the continuing damage and death HIV/AIDS reaps.In the same way that leprosy was seen as a spiritual ailment, AIDS was (and in many places still is) viewed as God’s punishment for homosexuality, as the wages of sin.
It happens as we move closer to the truth of who we are, as we live our authentic lives, surrounded and uplifted by the love of God, as felt through the love of others. For that, I’ve got a team of specialists on my side. But every positive person needs it–and if we truly believe in miracles of healing, we have to start opening the church doors to HIV-positive people like me.
I don’t believe there will be a cure for HIV in my lifetime. But when I think of what Jesus meant when he said that the faith of the lepers made them well, I’ve started coming back to, of all things, a verse from the Holy Book of Lady Gaga: “If I can’t find a cure, I’ll fix you with my love.”On the days when I feel unclean, I remember that line, and I’m grateful, because I am being fixed by the love of others. Pr EP is a once-daily medication for sexually active adults with a high risk of contracting HIV. If you are interested in Pr EP, talk to your doctor today.
On World AIDS Day, we honor the memory of those lost to AIDS, who were more often than not LGBTQ men (and particularly Latinx and black men) who found themselves ignored and abandoned by a president and a government that could have healed them but chose not to simply because they viewed them as low priority.
In addition, we keep in mind that AIDS continues to destroy lives today, in America and around the world, especially in economically disadvantaged countries where healthcare is unaffordable or out of reach.
Even in America, where medication has allowed those living with HIV to attain normal lifespans, the stigma around the disease persists.
In the ancient Judaic culture, leprosy — which causes ugly scarring and disfiguring of bodies — represented the physical effects of sin in our world.I’ve found myself growing more skeptical of the church’s concern for HIV-positive people since my diagnosis, and I’m not sure how to remedy that.So when I read that passage about the lepers, I started to feel resentful.Trauma like that doesn’t just go away; it merely scabs over, and we learn not to pick at it.The healing, then, that Jesus talks about wasn’t completed the day he removed their illness.When the doctor called and asked me if I was sitting down, I knew I had something.