When Will AIDS End?
From an early age, youths are bombarded with sexual messages that encourage promiscuity. Intravenous drug use, another significant HIV route, is also widespread. Considering today’s pervasive climate of irresponsible behavior, you may wonder if AIDS will ever end.
HEALTH professionals aptly point to behavioral changes as a vital strategy in the fight against AIDS. “Each and every generation of young people,” says a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “needs comprehensive, sustained health information and interventions that help them develop life-long skills for avoiding behaviors that could lead to HIV infection. Such comprehensive programs should include the involvement of parents as well as educators.”
Clearly, parents need to educate their children about these dangers before they are misinformed by their peers or others. This is not always easy. But it can save your child’s life. Informing children about sex and drugs need not take away their innocence. It can actually protect them from losing their innocence.
Parental Training Is Vital
Among God’s ancient people, parents were expected to teach their children about sexual relations and how to protect their health. Interestingly, the laws of the ancient Israelites included clear moral guidelines as well as practices that protected them from infection. (Leviticus 18:22, 23; 19:29; Deuteronomy 23:12, 13) How were these laws to be taught to the people? Jehovah God told the Israelites: “These words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart.” Parents first had to understand the benefits of adhering to these laws and the consequences for failing to do so. Then, they were instructed: “You must inculcate them in your son and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”—Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.
One dictionary defines “inculcate” as “to teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions.” Obviously, time is involved. Parents who set aside time to teach their sons and daughters about the dangers of drug abuse and illicit sex certainly stand a better chance of seeing their children avoid types of behavior that can lead to contracting HIV and other diseases.a
Comfort for HIV/AIDS Sufferers
Prevention efforts may be of little comfort to the millions of people who have contracted HIV/AIDS. Besides suffering the physical effects of the disease itself, they are often stigmatized and encounter rejection because of their condition. How so? A common, yet erroneous, belief is that casual contact can transmit HIV. Fear of contracting HIV/AIDS is understandable, since it is both communicable and fatal. Some have allowed their fear of the disease to become an irrational fear of people with it. Sufferers have been refused medical treatment, expelled from church, and even violently attacked.
Some people have contended that AIDS is a curse from God on the wicked. Admittedly, adhering to Bible standards on sexual morality, drug use, and blood would have kept many sufferers from contracting the disease. (Acts 15:28, 29; 2 Corinthians 7:1) Nonetheless, the Scriptures show that sickness is not evidence of God’s punishment for a specific sin. On the contrary, the Bible states: “With evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” (James 1:13; John 9:1-3) A person who has HIV or AIDS because of failure to adhere to Scriptural standards but who has changed his behavior can be assured that he is not abandoned by God.
God’s empathy and love for the chronically ill were evident when his Son, Jesus, came to earth. Encountering a leper during his travels, Jesus “was moved with pity, and he stretched out his hand and touched him.” Jesus exercised his miraculous power and healed the leper. (Mark 1:40-42) Jesus did not look down on people who were ill. The love he displayed for them was a perfect reflection of his heavenly Father’s love.—Luke 10:22.
A Cure for AIDS—Soon!
Jesus’ miraculous healings do more than reassure us of God’s love. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ now rules as a heavenly King. (Revelation 11:15) His ministry on earth showed that he has the power and the willingness to cure any malady afflicting mankind. That is exactly what he will do.
Bible prophecy assures us that soon “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24) Despite the failure of mankind to stop the spread of AIDS or to provide effective treatment for all, we can be confident that AIDS will be abolished. “Bless Jehovah, O my soul,” King David said, “and do not forget all his doings, Him who is forgiving all your error, who is healing all your maladies.”—Psalm 103:2, 3.
When will this take place? What requirements does God have for those who hope to experience such blessings? We invite you to contact Jehovah’s Witnesses to learn more about the Bible’s wonderful promise.
a Many parents have found the book Learn From the Great Teacher, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, to be helpful in progressively teaching young children about sex and basic moral principles.
[Blurb on page 11]
Bible prophecy assures us that soon “no resident will say: ‘I am sick’”
[Picture on page 10]
Teaching your children about sex and drug abuse can protect them
[Picture on page 10]
Jesus’ ability and willingness to heal the sick showed what he will do in the future