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Life Matters: Why “HIV Stops With Me”

(Editor's note: Today marks the debut of the Life Matters column by the Rev. Gerald Green of San Diego.)

HIV/AIDS continues to carry stigma with it today that fuels the fire of ignorance that spreads throughout our nation and the world.

The world will take time on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, to remember those who have been infected and affected by this disease.

Many people, once finding out their status, live in silence and shame. Since the early days of the epidemic, there have been countless individuals who have championed the cause for a cure and a better life.

As a spiritual leader, advocate and community leader, I feel it is important to be a voice for those who feel they have no hope. Our bodies are the temple of the spirit of life, which love is the force that heals our hurts.

We, the world over, have a duty to our fellow man to pass on compassion, not hate, hope, not hate, dignity, not despair.

We must provide strong support teams, which may consist of doctors, counselors, family or extended family, and a spiritual path or a sense of self that encourages wholeness and wellness.

Finally, “HIV Stops With Me” because I make a commitment to myself and others to get tested, educated and involved helping to eradicate the disease and all of us not giving up until there is a cure.

Life Matters is written by the Rev. Gerald Green, pastor of Unity Fellowship Church of San Diego. He is a community activist, a singer and a motivational speaker. You can contact him by email at geraldgrn93@gmail.com or like him on Facebook or Twitter.