issue

HIV and AIDS

People with HIV have the right to full participation in the Church and society.


People speak at a conference for World Aids Day

The United Methodist Church recognizes HIV and AIDS as a public health threat of global significance. Taking seriously the Gospel requirement to care for those who are suffering, ill, in distress, or at high risk of infection, addressing the AIDS epidemic is imperative. Our response to global and local AIDS crisis must be compassionate, evidence-based and prophetic.

All individuals living with HIV and AIDS should be treated with dignity and respect.

United Methodist Social Principles, ¶162.U

According to the United Nations, by the end of 2015 approximately 36.7 million adults and children were living with HIV and AIDS in the world. HIV and AIDS affects people across geographic areas, races and ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses. However, some communities are at a higher risk for infection including: people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, people of color, and those living in areas without access to quality healthcare.

An effective AIDS response requires that we address the driving forces of HIV for example: poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, stigma, gender-based violence, and the fear of dealing with the complexity of human sexuality and apathy. Our efforts must include comprehensive efforts to prevent mother to child transmission. With the technology and medication available today, no child should contract HIV in the mother’s womb, or at childbirth.

What the Bible and The United Methodist Church Say:

The United Methodist Book of Resolutions urges us to:

  • • Welcome and embrace people living with HIV
  • • Provide care and support
  • • End stigma and discrimination
  • • Provide awareness education on HIV
  • • Observe World AIDS Day

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

“God’s word calls us to a ministry of healing; a ministry that understands healing not only in physiological terms but also as wholeness of spiritual, mental and social being.” (Book of Resolutions, 3241)

Christ’s identification with suffering people was made clear when he said that “whatsoever you do to the least of these, you also do to me.” (Matthew 23:40, paraphrased)

“In response to HIV/AIDS crisis in the world, the United Methodist Church commits itself to a holistic approach to awareness, education, prevention, treatment, community organizing and public advocacy.” (Book of Resolutions, 3241)

“All individuals living with HIV and AIDS should be treated with dignity and respect. We support their rights to employment, appropriate medical care, full participation in public education, and full participation in the Church.” (Social Principles, ¶162.U)

Three Things You Can Do:

  • Support the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, which aims to educate and inspire annual conferences and local churches to advocate for better global AIDS policies and resources.
  • Advocate with your policymakers to support the highest level of funding for AIDS prevention, care and treatment.
  • Work to end stigma and gender-based violence, and increase protective/prevention factors such as sexuality education and access to healthcare.

For More Information on HIV and AIDS, visit: