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Here’s a fact: over 15 million children have been orphaned worldwide because of AIDS. 15 million children. Think about that number. Close you eyes and just try to imagine what that would look like.

I remember the audacity and ignorance of a well-known Evangelical who boldly declared that AIDS was God’s judgment. Anybody remember that? We’ve come a long way, I hope, from that view. Millions of people have contracted AIDS as the result of unfortunate and tragic circumstances that had nothing to do with their immoral choices.

For example, many women around the world have AIDS because they have no rights and they have no choice over the timing and manner of sex. For many it is because their mates make immoral choices and then the women contract the disease from them because they cannot refuse intercourse if they even knew their partner had the virus. For women and children, they are forced into slavery including sexual slavery and are exposed that way.

Every 15 seconds someone dies from AIDS. Let’s be silent and wait. 33 million people live with HIV. Last year, 2.5 million were newly infested. It has been called the great humanitarian crisis of our day.

Two-thirds of people in Africa live with HIV. Three-quarters of all deaths due to AIDS occurs in Africa, which has just over one-tenth of the world’s population.

2.5 million children worldwide have HIV. Besides the 15 million children who are already orphaned, another 6,000 children are orphaned each day mostly in Africa. By 2010, this number could reach 20 million. By 2020, 12 percent of Africa’s workforce could die from AIDS—58 million people.

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