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Unitarian Universalist Global HIV/AIDS Policy

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) addressed the specific vulnerabilities of women and youth with respect to HIV/AIDS in a 2003 Action of Immediate Witness. In 2007, delegates passed another Action of Immediate Witness calling on comprehensive sexuality education as a means to combat the global HIV-AIDS epidemic. Both are excerpted below.

Global HIV/AIDS 

2003 Action of Immediate Witness (Read Full Text)

WHEREAS HIV/AIDS is one of the most devastating crises in the history of public health, causing 25 million deaths and now infecting over 40 million men, women, and children, and if present trends continue, 40 million African children will have become orphans by the year 2010;

WHEREAS President Bush has promised $3 billion per year over five years to fight global AIDS but has requested only $1.7 billion for 2004 and many experts believe that even $3 billion is inadequate to address the need; and

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, brings to bear our values on the matter of the global AIDS pandemic.

We call on Congress to follow through immediately on the amounts promised in the recent legislation by:

Appropriating the full $3 billion per year for five years for HIV/AIDS efforts abroad,

We also call on the Administration to recognize that the ideologically motivated restrictions in the recently enacted "U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003".

Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education Legislation

2007 Action of Immediate Witness (Read Full Text)

BECAUSE our Unitarian Universalist principles call on us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, and the goal of world community with peace and justice for all;

WHEREAS the PATHWAY Act (Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women And Youth) will remove the requirement in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that one-third of United States foreign aid for AIDS be spent on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, and wil1 require the President to establish a comprehensive and integrated HIV prevention strategy to empower women and girls to negotiate and demand safe sexual practices both within and outside marriage while addressing their vulnerable situations;

WHEREAS the REAL Act (Responsible Education About Life) will establish the first ever federal funding stream for medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education;

WHEREAS more than 40 million people worldwide suffer from HIV/AIDS, an increase of 2.6 million people in the past three years;

WHEREAS African women between 15 and 24 account for 75% of new HIV infections; and married women are the majority of those infected with HIV worldwide with more than 80% of new infections in women resulting from sex with husbands or primary partners;

WHEREAS an essential approach to reducing sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and unintended pregnancy is to provide young people with medically accurate, comprehensive information regarding sexual health and recognizing that cultural and economic forces may negatively impact sexual;

WHEREAS abstinence-only programs are not proven to be effective and may contain medical inaccuracies and do not address the reality that young people are sexually active and at risk of infection and pregnancy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2007 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association call upon Congress to support passage of the REAL and PATHWAY Acts and urge member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to immediately petition congressional representatives to co-sponsor these bills; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that all Unitarian Universalist congregations and individuals are encouraged to use the resources of the UU-UNO (Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office), the Washington Office for Advocacy and the UU (Unitarian Universalist) Global AIDS Coalition to mobilize interfaith support for passage of the REAL and PATHWAY Acts.

For more information contact socialjustice @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

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