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What would Jesus do&about AIDS? Why, he would heal sick people of coursejust like he did with lepers, the crippled, and the chronically ill. That's clear. He would bring in the outcasts.

But would he do anything else?

Jesus would probably put himself in the place of the person living with AIDS. To help us understand, when we looked at them he would ask us to see him in them.

How do we do that? One way is to put ourselves in their place, like he does. Yes, even with AIDS and even in a far away place.

Take Rose. What would you do if you were Rose?

You are 29. You left your home and family in the country two years ago to try to find a job in the city. It's been hard. There wasn't much money to be made back in the country and there isn't much money for someone like you in the city either. What can you do?

You live as simply as you can, skimping on food, clothing and shelter. But a slum landlord charges you $10 a month for your 6-foot by 12-foot room. It's a shanty propped against the wall of a larger building (Rose, right, and her home). You've brightened and patched its cardboard and corrugated iron walls with ads torn from foreign magazines. You curtained off your bed with a sheet. A gas bottle powers a single burner on a box on the cracked cement floor. You have two rickety chairs. Right outside your door are the pedestrians, mud and garbage that line every footpath in your slum.

The only work you have is washing clothes for some foreigners once a week. You still struggle to get by. What would you do?

After a fruitless search, you conclude that you only have one thing of any value to sell. Thus, during your second year in the city, you allow first one, then two, then eventually four male 'friends' to help you pay the rent. This is not pleasure and it's not easy money. Where you live, something like this earns only a couple of dollars at a time. But you're in the city and you survive.

Until now. You have not felt well for several months and in March, 2001, just as that second year in the city is up, you find the courage to go for a blood test. You are not sure what difference it will make to know what you suspect. The results come back&and you find out that you have the AIDS virus. What would you do?

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Other Articles of Interest:

Standing With Africa
by LWR President, Kathryn Wolford

"The Reality of HIV/AIDS in Africa"
An article written by Asenath Omwega, LWR Regional Representative East Africa


Stand With Africa: A Campaign of Hope?
Written by Cathie DeGonia, Stand With Africa Campaign Communication Coordinator

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by Jonathan Frerichs, LWR Communication Director