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September National HIV/AIDS Ethnic Awareness Days

Did you know that an estimated 40,000 new HIV infections occur every year in the U.S.? It is estimated that 15 to 20% of persons living with the virus DO NOT KNOW that they are infected. If you do not know that you are infected with HIV, you could be spreading the virus to others. The only way to know if you are infected is to get tested.

September 18th marks National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. Although the number of deaths from AIDS is decreasing, the number of new infections and the number of persons living with AIDS are rising. Among the population groups increasingly at risk for HIV infection are those 50 years and older. As these numbers increase, persons living with AIDS will face the daily challenges of living with the disease as well as the daily challenges of aging. September 27th marks National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a sharp increase in the number of new infections among young (13-29) gay and bisexual men. Because of persistent and painful homophobia, stigma and discrimination people are afraid to be tested and seek treatment and health care.

Free and confidential or anonymous testing is available in a community near you.

This disease has NO CURE. There is NO Vaccine to prevent it, and it will NOT GO AWAY!!

Know your status; get tested for HIV and share the word with others to do the same! For more information call 312-948-6500 or go to

Compassionate God, bless the millions of children who have been orphaned because of HIV/AIDS---We pray.

Monday, February 25, 2019 by Communications
This national week of prayer calls attention to the AIDS epidemic in the United States and the extraordinary role that communities of faith can and are playing in AIDS prevention, education, service and advocacy. It highlights the need for a continuous mobilization and education of faith communities to take an even greater role in the implementation of AIDS education and services within their local communities and across the nation. Its primary goal is to strengthen our nation’s faith communities to influence social norms and thereby contribute to the prevention of HIV disease and provide compassionate support to those who are living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The observance seeks to:

1. Promote a week of AIDS awareness activities within communities of faith to educate the people of the United States about HIV/AIDS;
2. Raise awareness of their support for HIV testing, health education and prevention efforts and give unconditional love and support to all those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS;
3. Bring attention to the critical role that faith communities on a national, regional and local level are playing in the AIDS epidemic in the United States. (Balm in Gilead, Inc.)

In unity with this week of prayer across our nation, we offer the following prayer of the Maryknoll AIDS Task Force: “God of all compassion, comfort your sons and daughters who live with AIDS.

Spread over us all, Your quilt of mercy, love and peace.
Open our eyes to Your Presence reflected in their faces.
Open our ears to Your truth echoing in their hearts.
Give us the strength to weep with the grieving, to walk with the lonely, to stand with the depressed.
May our love mirror Your love for those who live in fear, who live under stress and who suffer rejection.
Mothering, Fathering God, grant rest to those who have died and hope to all who live with HIV.
God of life, help us to find a cure now and help us to build a world in which no one dies alone and where everyone lives accepted, wanted and loved.” Amen

Catholic Charities HIV/AIDS Task Force for the Archdiocese of Chicago, 312-948-6500