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United Methodist Global Aids Committee Spring Newsletter 2024

There’s still time to register for the April 22 United Methodist Global AIDS Committee’s Breaking Barriers AIDS Conference: Tackling Stigma.

Registration Open for UM AIDS Conference

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The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, April 22 at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC. The date is just one day before the opening of General Conference 2024.

The conference will feature dynamic worship services led by Bishop Julius C. Trimble of the Indiana Annual Conference and Bishop Karen Oliveta of the Mountain Sky Annual Conference.

Keynote speaker will be Dr. Ulysses W. Burley III, founder of UBtheCURE, LLC – a Chicago-based consulting company on the intersection of Faith, Health, and Human Rights with a commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health crisis. He currently serves as the Project Director for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Faith Initiative and is a founding member of National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the U.S. HIV/AIDS Faith Coalition, of which he is Chair.

There will be leaders from all over the globe sharing the latest on what is happening with HIV and AIDS and how the Church is responding. The conference and lunch at the conference are FREE. Register online at

UMGAC Chair Bishop Julius C. Trimble Celebrates Retirement

Bishop Julius C. Trimble, who has served as Chair of the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee (UMGAC) since 2015, recently announced his plans to retire this year.

Bishop Trimble took on this role when the committee was struggling with resources and needed a strong voice in the UMC. He was the perfect advocate.

His leadership has been instrumental in keeping the topic of HIV and AIDS at the forefront of the UMC’s global health concerns. Bishop Trimble has actively shared his hopes for an AIDS-free world through news articles, sermons, podcasts and various speaking engagements.

It is for this reason that he was chosen by UMGAC’s executive committee to receive the 2024 Global AIDS Leadership Award. He was also recently honored for his work at a National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Awards luncheon.

Those who have served with him on the committee say Bishop Trimble’s leadership has been invaluable. “It has been an honor to work with Bishop Trimble who has been an excellent chair for the Committee,” said Youngsook Charlene Kang, UMGAC Vice-Chair. “His dedicated passion working on the issue of HIV and AIDS is second to none.” She said Bishop Trimble brought many gifts to his role with UMGAC.

UMGAC Announces 2024 Leadership Awards

The long-time chairperson of the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee, a Rwandan church leader, two Filipino bishops and a retired pharmacist were selected as the 2024 recipients of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Leadership Awards. The honors will be presented at the Breaking Barriers AIDS conference on April 22, 2024 one day before the opening of the United Methodist General Conference in Charlotte, NC. See more details on the Honorees at

As HIV Escalates in the Philippines, 650 Attend AIDS Conference

Contributed by UMGAC member Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer At a time when HIV infections are escalating in the Philippines, 650 people attended a three-in-one AIDS Conference at Wesleyan University-Philippines in Cabanatuna City. Sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee on March 14 and 15, 2024, it was conducted in cooperation with leadership of the Philippines Central Conference.

Led by Dr. Gladys Mangiduyos, Vice President of Administration at Wesleyan, the focus was on “Empowering Lives: Bridging Hope Through Compassionate Care.” Three separate sessions were held —the first focused on medical personnel, the second university students, and the third included United Methodist laity and clergy from the 22 Annual Conferences in the Philippines.

Voluntary HIV testing and counseling were offered to all participants. Students from nine colleges within the University were represented at the conference. Evidence-based information about HIV prevention was stressed; free condoms and lubricants were available.

Speakers included President Irineo G. Alvaro, Jr. of Wesleyan University, Dr. Hector M. Santos, M.D., President-Elect of the Philippines Medical Society, Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer, Executive Director of the Colorado Center of Health and Hope, Elena Felix of the Association of Positive Women Advocates, Inc., and Jennifer Ferariza-Meneses, Executive Secretary of the Board of UM Women’s Work.

Alvaro commended United Methodists for holding this “timely conference, noting that HIV infections are increasing at an alarming rate of 411% since 2012.” Santos called on “collaboration of all sections of society to become engaged, saying medical people cannot stop the HIV epidemic alone.” Messer stressed that church people must face both “AIDS and AFRAIDS, since stigma still kills and Christians too often are fearful and discriminatory.”

In Other News…

  • A new documentary is in the Works: The Body of Christ Has AIDS. From the film-makers: The Body of Christ Has AIDS is a deeply personal story of one of the most tragic decades in American history. In this documentary, we examine the contradictory ways Christianity responded to the AIDS crisis. This examination is deeply contextualized within American society, pop culture, and religious life. For more information, see
  • The International AIDS Conference will be held in Munich, Germany July 22-26. For more information, see