December is International HIV/AIDS awareness month. I know this, but I’m not sure what I need to be aware of. I am aware that it is not an easy subject to deal with for many. I am aware of individuals who have announced publicly that they are victims of this insidious disease. I am aware that, although it is found in most parts of the world including the US, the African Continent and South Asia have had challenges with large segments of their populations being exposed to it, due primarily to historical behaviors and conditions, along with lack of awareness or willingness to change. I am aware that it is difficult on friends and family, of common or celebrity ilk.
I am also aware of great efforts by both public and private institutions to eradicate the causes of the HIV virus and its frequently ensuing claim of AIDS. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, alone, has contributed over $1.3 billion to address AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in the world along with $ 287 million in HIV research. I am aware that there have been medical interventions, albeit very costly, that ameliorate the speed and effects of the deterioration of the lives of those infected. I am aware that there is much education going on with populations around the world to prevent its occurrence. This special month is part of that education. My personal awareness of HIV/AIDS ends there.
My personal awareness of another insidious disease, malaria, may have analogous value. I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog (February 6, 2012, “Defeating Malaria”) that I had been healed of malaria when I was in the Peace Corps in the late sixties, before HIV/AIDS was known (apparently discovered around the mid-seventies). I was living and teaching in Palawan, when I became delirious. The symptoms persisted and, as I had done throughout my life, I turned in consciousness to a sense of the presence and power of divine Love, or God as I would know it, and of a more spiritual view of myself than just a mortal out in the jungle of the southwestern Philippines. Others with this condition had needed to undergo blood transfusions to find cure. As confirmed by the Peace Corps physician, my encounter with the disease was completely cured without any medical intervention. This physician had seen both the “before” and “after” of my case. Another volunteer during the same period underwent the transfusions. We both survived the disease.
My cure was not a first. I had looked to earlier examples of the healing of another insidious disease in its day, leprosy. The master Christian proved that there was a spiritual cure for such diseases. That was inspiring to me when confronting my own situation.
So, I am aware that there is more than one way to find healing from an infectious or fatal disease. Perhaps HIV/AIDS International Awareness Month should include a vision of the possible solutions besides those of medical research and consider the evidence to be found in more spiritual proofs.