Back to The Start

So this concludes the first month of embarking on research. Yesterday I spent two hours printing over 600 pages of information about HIV history, prevention, UNAID, USAID, PEPFAR, and other advocacy agencies that work world wide to prevent the transmission of HIV. I realized early on in order to understand the effective way to support and empower those living with HIV that you have to go Back to The Start.

So thats where I am 1 month in.. right at the start. The more information I get in my hands the more questions I feel need to be answered. At first I thought I would just begin by contacting NGO’s and Churches that work directly with clinics and those living with HIV. Then I quickly realized that HIV treatment, advocacy, funding and socially implications have changed drastically in each country in even the past decade that this deserves to be unpacked in many complex layers. In order to find better solutions to end a epidemic, stigma and poverty within these communities one must have to start at the beginning of where the problem started. ( Also, I’d like to state I will not be ending poverty anytime soon. However I do believe God has called us to address the deep seeded issues. HIV and Poverty go hand in hand. ) So I am breaking it down into all 54 African Union Countries, United States of America, Cuba, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Yemen, UAE, Oman, Palestine, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, Cambodia,and  Myanmar.

When did HIV first begin, what is the history in this country ?

What response was the diagnosis given by Government, communities and religious groups?

How has stigma changed since Patient Zero?

What stigma exists based on difference of religion, geography, economic status, education level and disclosure?

How is medical treatment available in each country?

What education is being given to our communities regarding HIV ?

What laws have implications on those living with HIV?

How is their economy effected by imports and exports?

How has the  local church responded to HIV both previously and currently?

All those questions answered are the birthplace of understanding the effective ways Government Aid, NGO’s , Churches and communities have fought against the transmission and stigma related towards HIV. but even greater how they have effectively empowered and cared for communities who are vulnerable to transmission and empowering those who are living with HIV.

So this implies with every country I hope to analyze I have to start at the beginning. By studying trends of the disease, Aid, a country’s economy and religious/social movements within the society to understand how NGO’s developed and work within the country.

Which leads me to believe this research will take much longer than first estimated. So instead of spending more money trying to print out information at local cafes and breaking their printers ( whoops sorry Charles) I am hoping to be able to invest in a printer and WIFI! Which is super exciting because I work at home even on days where my phone network is slow.

Our whole family is extremely excited. This new season allows me to have 3 very late work days while they are at tutoring and 2 days I can pick them up from school and just be present while they are home and weekends completely off! God is so faithful friends. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement and resources you have provided me with!



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