The year 2006 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) report about a new disease, now known as AIDS. The following timeline focuses on events related to The United Methodist Church (UMC) but also includes other AIDS-related events in church and society. The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) has been responding to the AIDS crisis since the early 1980s.
25 Years Timeline
| 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 |
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June 5. The CDC publishes in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR) a report of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy gay young men in Los Angeles. Afterward additional cases were reported from New York City, San Francisco, and other cities. (MMWR, June 5, 1981 / Vol. 30/ No. 21)
July 5. The New York Times publishes its first article on AIDS, Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals .
July 16. The CDC reports that it has recently received reports of three cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia among patients with hemophilia . (MMWR, July 16, 1982 / 31(27);365-7)
November 5. The cause of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is still unknown. Scientists suspect that an "agent" is transmitted "most commonly to require intimate, direct contact involving mucosal surfaces, such as sexual contact among homosexual males, or through parenteral spread, such as occurs among intravenous drug abusers and possibly hemophilia patients using Factor VIII products. Airborne spread and interpersonal spread through casual contact do not seem likely." (MMWR, November 05, 1982 / 31(43);577-80 )
March 4. Scientists still not know how AIDS is transmitted . Recently "11 cases of unexplained, life-threatening opportunistic infections and cellular immune deficiency have been diagnosed in patients with hemophilia. Available data suggest that the severe disorder of immune regulation underlying AIDS is caused by a transmissible agent." (MMWR, March 04, 1983 / 32(8);101-3)
May 24. The New York Times reports "In many parts of the world there is anxiety, bafflement, a sense that something has to be done - although no one knows what - about this fatal disease whose full name is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and whose cause is still unknown." The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to convene a meeting of experts in Geneva from, November 22-25. (NYT, Concern Over AIDS Grows Internationally , May 24, 1983)
June. Shanti Project in San Francisco sponsors an all-day religious forum, June 1, on the spiritual needs of people with AIDS. An idea of an AIDS interfaith network surfaces. Later that month, the Federation of AIDS Related Organizations, gathering for the second annual AIDS forum in Denver, CO, mandates the establishment of an AIDS Interfaith network.
July. Representatives from the religious community in San Francisco from the AIDS Interfaith Network of North America (AIN).
March-April. Charles Bergner, 33, a member of Washington Square UMC in New York City and a former support staffperson of the General Board of Global Ministries, is diagnosed with AIDS . He had been ill for several months. His congregation responds compassionately.
May 24. John A. Lovelace, associate editor of the United Methodist Reporter interviews Charles Bergner, who is now a research patient at the National Institute of Health Hospital, Bethesda, MD.
June. California-Nevada Annual Conference sends a petition "Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)" to the 1984 General Conference. Rocky Mountain Annual Conference adopts "Resolution on Health and Human Welfare (AIDS Epidemic)" Read more...
July 1. The United Methodist Reporter publishes "Fatal Illness Strikes UM Layman: Church's Ministry Emphasizes 'Sacred Worth' of Homosexuals," by John A. Lovelace, who closes his article with the following reflection:
"I left Charles Bergner's hospital room impressed that he is doing his part to make public information available about AIDS...
I also felt that he is a young man looking realistically at his short life and how little may remain of it, aware that he has been stricken by a disease linked with a form of behaviour his church disapproves of. But, I felt, too, that Charles knows that the church, like God, has not withdrawn its compassion and knows that the healing grace of God is available to him no less than to any other person because he is, indeed, of sacred worth."
December 26. Charles Bergner dies in Bethesda, MD.
A heterosexual AIDS epidemic in Africa is revealed . For years, people on the continent have called it "Slim," because it caused slow wasting away of the body, making a person "slim," before death.
The New York Times reports that "in the New England Journal of Medicine on 232 African AIDS cases, a team of Belgian doctors wrote: 'We are struck by the increasing number of patients who have come from Zaire or Ruanda during the past four years to seek medical care. We believe that AIDS is a new disease that is spreading in Central Africa." (NYT, AIDS in Africa: Disease Is Especially Alarming in Zaire, April 17, 1984)
April 24. U.S. researchers headed by Dr. Robert Gallo announce that they have isolated the cause of AIDS and call the virus HTLV-3 . American health officials say they believe the American and French viruses will turn out to be one in the same.
July 13. Evidence implicates a retrovirus as the etiologic agent of AIDS. (MMWR, July 13, 1984 / 33(27);377-9)
May. General Conference (UMC), meeting in Baltimore, MD, does not adopt any resolutions on AIDS. It refers a petition from the California-Nevada Annual Conference to the General Board of Church and Society.
October. Michael Collins, co-spokesperson for Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbians/Gay Concerns dies in New York City, having been diagnosed in Fall of 1983. Formerly clergy of Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference, he was a member of Washington Square UMC in New York City. In his journal after his diagnosis, he wrote "I see myself as a new being--ready to move on--secure in the knowledge that I am to be loved forever."
October. At its annual meeting, the Health and Welfare Ministries of GBGM adopts a departmental position paper on "AIDS and the Compassionate Ministry of the Church," dealing with such areas as research and health education, local church ministries, and concern for human and civil rights. Read more....
Film star Rock Hudson discloses that he has AIDS.
Ryan White , a 14-year-old seventh grader who is also a United Methodist, begins his successful fight to attend a public school in Kokomo, Indiana that had banned him because of fearful students and their parents. For months, he is forced get his lessons through a telephone hook-up at home. After he wins in court, he is harrassed by other students and vandals break windows in his family's house and slash the tires of their car.
June 24. The magazine Christianity and Crisis publishes "Fear and Healing in the AIDS Crisis" by Lee Hancock, its first article on AIDS.
January. New World Outlook, the United Methodist mission magazine published by Global Ministries, publishes a story on AIDS ministry, "Growing in Compassion" by Nancy A. Carter.
June. California-Nevada, New York, North Georgia, and Rocky Mountain Annual Conferences adopt resolutions on AIDS.
Heterosexuals and AIDS: concern grows about transmission between men and women .
October 23. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop urges parents and schools to begin "frank, open discussions" with young children and teen-agers about the dangers of AIDS .
January. The National Council of Churches (NCCC) forms an ecumenical AIDS Task Force staffed by Chris Cowap. Cathie Lyons, assistant general secretary of Health and Welfare Ministries, GBGM, is the convener the group.
June. In response to requests from member churches and WHO, the World Council of Churches asks its units on Church and Society, Family Education, and the Christian Medical Commission (CMC) to study AIDS. The three groups call a consultation of AIDS, chaired by Dr. Kevin Gordon in Cartigny, Switzerland to discuss the challenge that AIDS poses for churches. Eighteen persons met, They were mainly from the U.S.A. and Europe but also included representatives from India, Zaire, and the West Indies. It dreaws up a statement "Aids and the Church as a Healing Community," which is later endorsed by WCC Central Committee and sent to all of the member churches along with a call for active involvement in prevention and compassionate ministry.
September. The task force releases A.I.D.S. A Resource Packet for Congregations, edited by Dan Sendzik, which contains personal stories of people with AIDS, their families and friends; facts and medical background; Biblical, theological, pastoral, and worship resources, and a resource list.
October 31. "In what appeared to be a clear allusion to the AIDS epidemic, the Vatican said today that 'advocates' of homosexual rights seem undeterred by the realization that 'homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people.'"
February. The General Board of Church and Society publishes a special issue of engage/social action, The "Church in the Midst of the AIDS Epidemic."
February. The General Board of Discipleship adopts a statement "Ministry in the Midst of the AIDS Epidemic," which says in part:
"We applaud those local United Methodist churches who have already understaken such ministries on our behalf. We also confess that we as a total church have not always responded lovingly in the midst of this epidemic in part because of deeply held fears and prejudices. We ask God's forgiveness in this regard."
March 22. New York Annual Conference holds a conference on AIDS and the Church in White Plains, NY. Workshops include "The Needs of People with AIDS," "Spiritual Care and Counseling," "The Politics of AIDS," "AIDS and the Black and Hispanic Community," and "Local Church Ministries with Persons with AIDS."
April. The General Board of Global Ministries adopts an extensive paper, "Statement on the Church as a Healing Community and the AIDS Crisis." It includes theological background, facts about AIDS, statistics, and several recommendations.
May-July. Baltimore, California-Nevada, California-Pacific, Desert Southwest, Florida, Kansas West, North Arkansas, North Indiana, North Texas, Northern New Jersey, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, and South Georgia Annual Conferences adopt resolutions on AIDS and AIDS ministry.
September. The General Board of Church and Society concurs with GBGM's "Statement on the Church as a Healing Community and the AIDS Crisis."
Africa's first community-based response to AIDS (The AIDS Support Organisation or TASO) is formed in Uganda. It becomes a role model for similar activities around the world.
The first therapy for AIDS - azidothymidine (AZT) - is approved for use in the United States.
February. The World Health Organization (WHO) establishes the Special Programme on AIDS, later to become the Global Programme on AIDS.
February. Liberace dies of AIDS-related causes.
Ryan White's family (United Methodists) moves to Cicero, IN. Unlike Kokomo, he is generally accepted and treated as just another student at Hamilton Heights High School. According to The New York Times :
With their sharply different reactions toward Ryan White, the towns of Kokomo and Cicero have often been cast in terms of good and bad. It was not quite that simple.
Not everyone in Kokomo opposed Ryan White's attendance at school. Indeed, for every parent who pulled a child out of school in protest, there were 20 who did not. Nor was everyone in Cicero pleased to welcome a boy with AIDS. The difference was time and education about the disease.
August. The CDC revises its surveillance case definition of AIDS . (MMWR, August 14, 1987 / Vol. 36 / No. 31)
January. The Central Comittee of the WCCC calls a Hearing on AIDS and the Church in Geneva, Switzerland. It endorses "Aids and the Church as a Healing Community," which had been adopted at a WCCC Consultation in 1986. While confessing that the churches as institutions have been slow to act, the statement calls for effective action by not only individuals and congregations but through global collaboration.
February 20. In the wake of a recent and growing number of periodicals and TV stations refusing to accept advertising of condoms, the NCCC AIDS Task Force adopts a statement, "Toward Encouraging the Use of Condoms to Prevent AIDS."
October 23-25. A bi-national (Canada/United States) Consultation "AIDS: Grappling with Theological and Ethical Issues" is held in Toronto. It is sponsored by the Canadian Council of Churches; the Division of Church and Society, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; and the AIDS Working Group, the World Council of Churches. United Methodist
May 21. United Methodist Bishop Finis A. Crutchfield dies at age 70 of AIDS. His family says they do not know how he contracted the virus.
November 12-15. The United Methodist National Consultation on AIDS Ministries is held in Millbrae, California. Over 400 participants, represented 62 of the denomination's 73 annual conferences attend. The event, sponsored by three general program agencies of The United Methodist Church, has as its purpose: "to enable persons from local churches and annual conferences to develop visible ministries in compassionate and hope-filled response to the theological, spiritual, social, and medical challenges of AIDS." Read the theological statement of the planning committee.
January. In London, health ministers from around the world meet for the first time to discuss the HIV/AIDS epidemic. World AIDS day is conceived and adopted unanimously by 140 countries meeting at the World Summit of Ministers of Health on AIDS. The day is envisaged as an opportunity for governments, national AIDS programmes, non-governmental and local organizations, as well as individuals everywhere, to demonstrate both the importance they attached to the fight against AIDS and their solidarity in this effort.
April 11-13. The AIDS Interfaith Network (ANIN) holds its founding meeting in Rye, NY. Four members of the NCCC AIDS Task Force are elected to the governing board, Mary Ellen Haines, Dave Zuverink, Adele Resmer, and Ron Sunderland.
May. NCCC is one of seven national organizations invited to participate in the CDC's three regional Campaign Planning Workshops for AIDS Education held in Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco.
July 4. Christianity and Crisis magazine publishes a special issue on AIDS.
April 20. The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church adopt "A Statement on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome."
April 26-May 6. In St. Louis, General Conference adopts a resolution, AIDS and the Healing Ministry of the Church, and calls for creation of an Interagency AIDS Task Force which is to coordinate a network of AIDS ministries and develop and provide educational and interpretive materials to assist the church in an effective response to the AIDS epidemic both in the United States and around the world.
The National Council of Church's AIDS Task Force disbands after the death of Chris Cowap, NCCC staff responsible for the group, a cut in funding, and other changes in the configuration of the group. The AIDS National Interfaith Network (ANIN) continues.
Pernessa Seele, a member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in New York City, organizes the first Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS. United Methodist
The Covenant to Care Program is established.
Health and Welfare Ministries, GBGM, publishes a 32-page booklet AIDS Information and Resources for the Black Community.
The Interagency AIDS Task Force meets four times during the 1989-92 quadrennium.
January. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes its first two Focus Papers, one on "Global AIDS" and the other about "God's Love We Deliver," a food delivery program founded by Ganga Stone of New York City.
February. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #3, "AIDS Ministries and The United Methodist Church" by Claudia L. Webster
March. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #4, "Living with AIDS: A Personal Journey" by Terry Boyd.
April. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #5.
May. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #6 "AIDS: A Covenant to Care" by Cathie Lyons.
June. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #7, "Spiritual Live Retreats Enrich AIDS Ministries" by Marie Wright-Self
July. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #8, "Introduction to AIDS Caregiving."
September. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #9 on the Center for Disease Control's National AIDS Information Clearinghouse.
November. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #10, "Threads of Love: A Tapestry of Remembrance: The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt" by Cathie Lyons. 1989
April 9. Ryan White, a United Methodist, dies of AIDS at age 18 in Indianapolis.
February. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #11 Children and HIV Infection on Giving Children, Families and the Future a Chance by Cathie Lyons
February 12-14. About forty people participate in a conference "AIDS and the Role of the Church" in Kinshasa, Zaire. The conference, conducted entirely in French, is a cooperative effort between The United Methodist Church of Zaire and Health and Welfare Ministries, GBGM. In addition to focusing on care for persons and families living with AIDS, the participants discussed the church's role in prevention and education.
April. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #12, "Basic Information on AIDS/HIV Infection and Related Illnesses" by Cathie Lyons
December. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #13 "AIDS and the Power of God's Goodness and Grace" (Memorials for Terry Boyd and John Michael Mundy)
December. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #14 "The Epidemic of HIV Infection in the United States: Some Learnings to Date and Lessons for the Future" by Cathie Lyons
HIV prevalence in young pregnant women in Uganda begins to decrease - the first significant downturn in a developing country. The success is attributed to countrywide mobilization against the epidemic.
November 8: Magic Johnson , 32 years old, announces that he is infected with HIV that he is retiring immediately from the Los Angeles Lakers.
September 20. Fred Mutti dies at age 29 of complications related to AIDS. Shortly afterward, his parents Fritz and Etta Mae Mutti establish the Mutti AIDS Fund in memory him and his brother Tim, who died at age 30 on December 21, 1990 of complications from HIV.
GBGM publishes two books, Worship Resources of HIV and AIDS Ministries by Patricia D. Brown and Adele K. Wilcox (in English and Spanish) and Meditations for HIV and AIDS Ministries by Patricia D. Brown and Todd Masman.
July. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #15, "The Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic: Facts and Figures" by Cathie Lyons .
H.I.V. incidence rises among African American mothers in New York, which has the highest reported numbers of women infected by the virus.
September 26. Magic Johnson resigns from the National Commission on AIDS , writing a letter to President Bush saying that the Administration has "utterly ignored" the commission's recommendations and "dropped the ball" on AIDS.
April 8. Arthur Ashe , 48 years old, former United States Open and Wimbledon champion and a pioneer in sports and social issues, announces that has AIDS and has known for over three years.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "AIDS: A Community Commitment"
December 13. Ricky Ray dies at age 15. "He and his two younger brothers, Robert, 14, and Randy, 13, who also are infected with HIV, were at the center of a Florida and national controversy in 1986 when the Arcadia School Board barred them from school because they were infected with HIV...." The three brothers were the first Florida children to receive the AIDS drug AZT. ("Ricky Ray loses AIDS battle" Miami Herald, December 14, 1992)
GBGM and the Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches in Latin America (CIEMAL) hold two major consultations on HIV/AIDS ministries in São Paulo and Recife, Brazil.
January. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #16 Binding up the Brokenhearted Children by Nancy A. Carter
April. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #17 "Women Don't Get AIDS: They Just Die From It" (Part 1) by Nancy A. Carter
July. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #18 "Women Don't Get AIDS: They Just Die From It" (Part 2) by Nancy A. Carter
August. Fritz and Etta Mae Mutti move to Topeka, Kansas after he is elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church in July. Before moving here, they have lost two gay sons, Tim and Fred, to AIDS, a fact that is public knowledge. A few months after their arrival in Kansas, Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church begin to picket events at which Bishop Mutti speaks. They use vile language and carry abusive posters such as "FAG METHODIST CHURCH" and "FAG BISHOP MUTTI."
March 14th, 1993 Representatives of AIDS National Interfaith Network (ANIN), National Episcopal AIDS Coalition (NEAC), Disciples of Christ AIDS Network, Lutheran AIDS Network (LANET) and United Methodist HIV/AIDS Ministries Network travel through an East Coast blizzard which results in a foot of snow for the first meeting of what will become the Council of NATIONAL RELIGIOUS AIDS NETWORKS. ANIN executive director Ken South explains to the group that ANIN, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be working in a coordinating role between and among various religious AIDS networks. Discussion concluded with agreement as to the need to increase opportunities for spirituality at the National Skills Building Conference and the need for the group to continue to work together. Present at this meeting were Scott Alexander, Unitarian Universalist Association AIDS Resources Network; Marc Blumenthal, Union of American Hebrew Congregations/ Central Conference of American Rabbi's Joint Committee on AIDS; Charles Carnahan, United Methodist HIV/AIDS Ministries Network; Rodney DeMartini, National Catholic AIDS Network; Phil Jamison, Presbyterian AIDS Network; Ted Karpf, National Episcopal AIDS Coalition; Fred Kasl, National Catholic AIDS Network; Jon Lacey, AIDS Ministry Network-Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Holly McAlpen, National Episcopal AIDS Coalition; Joe McGinty, AIDS National Interfaith Network; A. Stephen Pieters, UFMCC AIDS Ministry; Chuck Selner, United Church AIDS/HIV Network; Ken South, AIDS National Interfaith Network; Ron Unger, Lutheran AIDS Network and Bernard Turner, guest, National Community AIDS Partnership.
November 2, 1993 During the National Skills Building Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, the group had formally named itself the Council of NATIONAL RELIGIOUS AIDS NETWORKS, upper/lower case intentional.
January. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #19 Healing Ministry of the Church in the 2nd Decade of AIDS by Cathie Lyons
January. The Upper Room's January/February issue of alive now! is a special issue, "Spirituality for AIDS Ministries"
June. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #20 "Have I Died Already or Am I Still Alive?" (story of a child with AIDS) by Cathie Lyons
June 10. Computerized AIDS Ministries (CAM), a bulletin board service (BBS) for electronic discussion opens coincidentally at the time that Prodigy begins to charge by the hour instead of a flat fee. CAM is free and offers four lines, including two free 800 ones, for people to call. A number of persons from Prodigy's AIDS discussion boards migrate to CAM. It becomes known as the "Electronic Church on the Information Superhighway."
June 21-25. An AIDS consultation is held in Harare, Zimbabwe. Representatives from West Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe develop plans of action and issue a statement.
September. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #21 Report from Berlin, Family Network Start by Charles Carnahan.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "AIDS and the Family"
May 23-25. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) convenes the full Council of NATIONAL RELIGIOUS AIDS NETWORKS, with two representatives per network meeting in at the Bellevue Hotel in Washington, D.C. In revisiting The Atlanta Declaration, the Council wrote a new document, "A Commitment on HIV/AIDS by People of Faith... The Council Call," to be distributed around the nation in preparation for World AIDS Day 1994. In a closing round table discussion, representatives of the CDC agreed to bring the Council to Atlanta to broaden and deepen the growing mutual understanding and respect between the public health sector and the faith community.
March. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #23 Supporting Support Groups (Part 1) by Nancy A. Carter
June 10. Computerized AIDS Ministries> (CAM), a bulletin board service (BBS) observes its first anniversary. During the first 12 months of operation, more that 1,500 users sign up, 42,000 calls are made to the BBS, and 75,000 messages are posted. CAM is written up in both church and secular publications.
June. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #24 Supporting Support Groups (Part 2)
October. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #25 World AIDS Day 1994 by Charles Carnahan
November 13-17. Interdenominational Consultation in India.
December. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper Focus Paper #26 Annotated Bibliography of AIDS Ministry Resources for People of Faith by Nancy A. Carter
An HIV outbreak in Eastern Europe is detected among injecting drug users.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides funds to the Balm in Gilead for a pilot study for the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS in six cities. It is based on the model of the Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS founded by Pernessa Seele, a member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in New York City and CEO of the Balm in Gilead, an organization dedicated exclusively to empowering churches in the struggle against the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the Black community.
March. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #27 Teenagers, AIDS, and the Church (Part 1) by Diana Hynson
May. Computerized AIDS Ministries (CAM) opens its first web page. One of its members writes to over 1,000 web sites asking them to link to CAM.
June. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #28 Teenagers, AIDS, and the Church (Part 2) by Diana Hynson
December. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #29 The Black Church and the AIDS Crisis (Part 1) by Mackie H. Norris
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is created.
Evidence of the efficacy of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is presented for the first time.
February 24. Debbi Hood Johnson, an active member of Computerized AIDS Ministries (CAM) who is HIV positive dies in a car accident at age 42. CAM's sysop (moderator), who is United Methodist clergy, goes to fly to North Carolina to conduct a memorial service for her.
August. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #30 The Black Church and the AIDS Crisis (Part 2) by Wesley S. T. Niles
November. "Welcoming Angels Through Computerized AIDS Ministries" by Nancy A. Carter (New World Outlook, July-August 1996), winner of two United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) awards of merit (magazine feature article and design) .
Brazil becomes the first developing country to provide antiretroviral therapy through its public health system.
November. The HIV/AIDS Ministries Network publishes Focus Paper #32 World AIDS Day
December 1. Life with Alex, Richard B. Cory's story about his 11-year-old son who contracted HIV from breast-feeding touches the hearts of thousands around the world, who visit this story during the week of World AIDS Day.
The first short-course regimen to prevent mother-to-child transmission is announced.
AIDS threat to Africa grows. The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe continues to respond to the threat of AIDS. Ms. Violet Kanonuhwa receives a $10,000 grant from the General Board of Global Ministries to conduct research at the University of Missouri on the impact of HIV/AIDS on children. The results of her research will be shared by the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the government of Zimbabwe.
The first efficacy trial of a potential HIV vaccine in a developing country starts in Thailand.
August 4. The AIDS epidemic leaves half-million orphans in Zambia. At a World Day of Prayer observance, Suzanne Matale, the Women's Desk Coordinator for the Christian Council of Churches in Zambia asks its 19 member denominations and 14 associate members to start small programs for the orphans in their particular communities. "We are saying open up your churches," Matale added. "Let them be havens for your kids."
February. Church in Zimbabwe Battles Country's Worst Problems. Zimbabwe's economy is struggling and AIDS is ravaging the nation, but the United Methodist Church is growing in the Southern African country.
July. Presidential Mission on Children Orphaned by AIDS. The Clinton administration recommends a $100 million federal budget increase to fight AIDS worldwide in response to the report of a team, including a United Methodist bishop, that visited Africa to study the impact of the pandemic there.
The AIDS crisis in Africa continues to grow . The UN Security Council discusses HIV/AIDS for the first time.
Nkosi Johnson, an 11-year-old boy living with AIDS in Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa, speaks live on television to the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban.
November. White House Summit The Clinton Administration and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) focuses on the role religious leaders could play in the fight against AIDS. To back-to-back conferences are held: "A Consensus From Conscience: Revealing the Role of Faith in Response to AIDS" and "Animating Theology: Turning Faith Into Action in Response to AIDS." Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders attended the summit, including two United Methodist bishops: Zimbabwe's Bishop Christopher Jokomo and Bishop Felton May of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "AIDS: Men Make a Difference"
December 1. A million Africans are newly infected with HIV this year. Dr. Peter Piot of UNAIDS calls for church involvement.
December 1. St. Mark's United Methodist Church in the Harlem and St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Soweto participate in simulcast, fed to 30 African countries by African television. It is produced by The Balm in Gilead, a U.S. organization dedicated to empowering churches in the struggle against the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the black community.
Januuary 17-21. A consultation in Kadoma, Zimbabwe, co-sponsored by GBGM and the Zimbabwe United Methodist Annual Conference, Zimbabwe focuses on education, awareness and prevention training on HIV/AIDS. The event is attended by 136 people. More....
April. GBGM provides self-powered radios to Africa. These are sent first to Mozambique, which has suffered from devastating floods. Once the flood emergency phase has passed the radios can be used for other purposes, such as providing accurate information about HIV/AIDS prevention.
August 20-25. An HIV/AIDS Conference is held for United Methodist Youth in Zimbabwe. More than eighty young adults from Zimbabwe and neighboring regions gather at Chinhoyl Technical Teacher's College in Zimbabwe for a conference on AIDS, with the theme of "HIV/AIDS: Youth's Challenge in the New Millennium."
December. Computerized AIDS Ministries (CAM), now an e-mail group, continues to touch peoples lives. Richard B. Corey talks about wife Cathie's death from AIDS-related causes on November 19, 2000 and his faith journey.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan launches his call to action, including the creation of a global fund on AIDS and health.
June 2. 12-year-old AIDS activist Nkosi Johnson of South Africa dies. He had been born with HIV. His funeral drew up to 1,000 people to Johannesburg's central Methodist church. When he was 7, Nkosi was said to be the country's "longest-surviving AIDS baby."
June 25-27. UN Special Session on AIDS.
June 27. Sixty-two young people representing 26 countries present a Youth Position Paper, calling on world leaders to address the most critical youth-related issues left out of the Declaration of Commitment. Members include a list of highly vulnerable populations in their document, unlike the UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. The failure to admit who is most at risk is one of the greatest challenges to ending the pandemic.
June 25-27, 2001. Some Faith-Based Organizations facilitated by the World Council of Churches issue a statement, "Increased Partnership between Faith-Based Organizations, Governments and Inter-Governmental Organisations" at the UN Special General Assembly on HIV/AIDS.
Abingdon Press publishes Dancing in a Wheelchair: One Family Faces HIV/AIDS by Fritz and Etta Mae Mutti, who have lost two sons to AIDS. Fritz Mutti is a United Methodist bishop.
The Uzumba Orphan Trust has its hands full in Zimbabwe as the number of AIDS orphans escalate.
February. GBGM produces the video A Generation of Hope: Orphans of the Zimbabwe Crisis, which is a featured resources for Time magazine's Death Stalks a Continent . Watch this moving film online (10 minutes):
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In order for you to view this film, RealPlayer must be installed on your computer. Two versions of RealPlayer are offered, one is free. After you click, Look for 'FREE RealPlayer' in the upper right hand corner of the page and click on that link. "A Generation of Hope" is also available offsite in Quicktime format.
February 26. The second consultation in India on "HIV/AIDS and the Church's Response" is held in New Delhi. Sponsored by Global Ministries, Lutheran World Relief, and the Christian Medical Association in India, the consultation discussed home-based care, living positively with HIV and counseling for those affected and their families.
May. African AIDS workshops focus on women. The East Africa Annual Conference (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda) of the United Methodist Church has in recent months increased efforts to raise awareness among women about HIV/AIDS.
GBGM begins its Healthy Homes, Healthy Families program to assist The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) to strengthen their capacity to deal with HIV/AIDS epidemic, reduce the spread of infection and provide care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PWHA).
June. Youth Caucus Goes Beyond Mandated UN Consensus on HIV/AIDS Issues. United Methodist Seminar intern, Parvina Najibulla, 23, participated in the non-governmental group, representing United Methodist Women and the denomination. Together the youth caucus wrote and presented a position paper, stating that more urgency needs to be given to the HIV/AIDS crisis and its effects on youth.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "Live and Let Live" (Stigma and Discrimination)
February 16-20. Global Ministries organizes a seminar at Isabel Thoburn College in Lucknow, India. One hundred women from 12 Methodist Conferences in India attend. They draw up action plans to implement in their own annual conferences. Global Ministries later assists Isabel Thoburn College in setting up an HIV/AIDS information and counseling center to provide resources on the disease.
April. Forty-six representatives from three United Methodist hospitals in Africa attend a workshop in Mutambara, Zimbabwe.
May 8-9. Twelve Persons, including three clergy, from the Kissy Clinic and the United Methodist home-based care program attended a traing event in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Topics included infection control, prevention, support, care, nutrition, and pain management. After the event, Global Ministries sent 400 Healthy Homes Healthy Families Kits and five Medicine Boxes to Sierra Leone.
May 25-31. Thirty people participated in a workshop on the Healthy Homes Healthy Families Kit (HHHF) at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. General Board of Global Ministries staff distributed 40 kits and five Medicine Boxes to participants, who expressed a need for more of these health supplies.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "Live and Let Live" (Stigma and Discrimination)
March 7-9: A consultation of the South Asia Ecumenical Partners Program (SAEPP) is held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It highlights the following as priorities for the churches' ministry in the region: HIV/AIDS, peace and reconciliation, interfaith relations, and capacity building for the churches.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "Have You Heard Me Today?" Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS
May: Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the 2004 General Conference delegates, by an 818 to 68 vote, establish the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. A goal is set to raise at least $8 million from 2005 to 2008.
June: Officials of the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the Zimbabwe United Methodist Church announce the six-year-long project to assist children in Zimbabwe whose parents have died of AIDS. A major donation from a United Methodist family will help underwrite school expenses for 2,000 children.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."
July 8-19: The United Methodist Church launches a new effort to stem drug trafficking and substance abuse in Africa at a conference "Shaping the Future with Hope, Healing and Deliverance" in Kitwe, Zambia The African Task Force on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (ATF) is created during the consultation. The Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV), a United Methodist program administered by the General Board of Global Ministries, sponsors the event.
December 1. World AIDS Day Theme: "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."
May 31-June 4: at the Mandel Training Center in Harare, Zimbabwe, African United Methodists Mobilize against Drug Abuse. The United Methodist Church's new African Task Force on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (ATF) convenes for the first time.
September 8-9: An intensive workshop focused on the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, A Gathering of United Methodists Working to Fight AIDS, is held in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee, the workshop is designed to help lay and clergy leaders to: 1) become HIV/AIDS advocates for their annual conferences; 2) increase awareness of the crisis, both in the U.S. and internationally; and 3) raise funds for life-saving programs.