FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2016
 
Washington, D.C.: The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee has elected new officers for 2016-2020.
 
The members of the Global AIDS Fund Committee visited Real Talk DC to learn more about how teens and young adults have real conversations with their peers about sexual health in a safe and comfortable setting. Committee members rolled up their sleeves and got to work packing safer sex kits. Photo courtesy of The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.
Bishop Julius Trimble of the Indiana Conference will serve as chairman, and the Rev. Dr. Youngsook Kang of the Rocky Mountain Conference will be vice-chair. Douglas B. Smith, at-large member, was elected secretary. Linda Bales Todd will serve as a consultant to the committee.

“Our call to action is a call to do justice and show mercy,” said Bishop Trimble. “It’s a call to support the work of abundant health and advocacy; a call to educate and get involved in your country and your particular conference. Let us commit to end the stigma, educate and prevent the spread of HIV around the world.”

According to UNAIDS, more than a million persons died from AIDS-related causes in 2015 and 36.7 million people are living with HIV. There were about 5,700 new infections per day last year, for a total of 2.1 million adults and children. About two-thirds of those were in sub-Saharan Africa and nearly half were women.

With this quadrennium, the work of the Global AIDS Fund Committee is undergoing a shift from a fundraising emphasis to a greater focus on providing resources and training to engage annual conferences and local churches in HIV/AIDS education and advocacy.

Global Ministries will provide oversight and administration of the United Methodist Global AIDS Advance Fund #982345, which provides financial support to global maternal and child health initiatives that address HIV and AIDS.

Some of the functions of the Global AIDS Fund Committee will include:

  • Helping United Methodist conferences and churches create partnerships for HIV and AIDS ministry
  • Advocating for increasing funding for HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
  • Working to reduce stigma and discrimination
  • Providing training and networking opportunities to resource United Methodists

The committee voted to affirm the World Council of Churches’ Call to Action from Faith Communities which commends the United Nations and its member states for their commitment to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and to achieving the UNAIDS Fast Track targets in the next five years.

The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund was established in 2004, and includes representatives from the General Board of Global Ministries, the Council of Bishops and Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the General Board of Church and Society, the Division on Ministries with Young People, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Communications, and three at-large members chosen by the committee for expertise and diversity.

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Media contact:
Diane Degnan ddegnan@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (o) 615.483.1765 (c)