Have you thought about AIDS?

The advertisement going around on electronic media and billboards, sponsored by the National AIDS Council and otherorganizations, about a girl with multiple sex partners providing her with a life of cash, cell phones, cribs, and a car reflects the impurity and sensuality present in our cities. It is said that art reflects the outlook and spirit of its age. Are we asking too much for this girl and her multiple partners to think about how their actions not only contribute to their status but also to the spread of HIV and AIDS? The Bible says such people have lost all sensitivity and have given themselves over to sensuality and indulgence in every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more (Ephesians 4:19). Is this advert declaring the tragedy of this lifestyle or promoting it? We need a pragmatic approach to this serious problem.

A few days ago I stumbled on a no-nonsense approach on Yahoo news. An adult film performer in Southern California tested positive for HIV and as a result the multi-billion dollar adult film industry was shut down until the performer was retested. The article stated that, “A series of tests were being conducted on the performer to confirm the case before anyone the performer might have spread the illness to will be notified to get tested.”  The article further mentioned that “if the initial case is confirmed, the group will ask two generations of the person’s sexual partners to get tested, meaning those who had sex with the performer and the sexual partners of those who had sex with the performer.” We need laws in Zambia that will require people with multiple sexual partners to disclose their partners if they are discovered to be HIV+.

The girl in the advert and the adult sex performer are in similar situations. Both live high risk lifestyles and both might be HIV+. However, the adult performer is confronted for his actions and made to account for his sex life so that those he may have infected can be helped to not spread the infection further. Sadly, in our “Christian Nation” we have grown accustomed to the corruption and degradation portrayed in this kind of advert. If this kind of immorality was offensive to us then we would refuse to allow her story to end with her being asked “Have you thought about AIDS?”

As a Christian what is your response to this advert of the spiritual and moral decay of Lusaka, Ndola, or Livingstone? The Apostle Paul’s response in Acts 17 may help us here. The bible says that, “he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” John Stott says that the distress Paul felt was “due to his abhorrence of idolatry, which aroused within deep stirrings of jealousy for the name of God, as he saw human beings so depraved as to be giving to idols
the honor and glory which were due to the one, living and true God alone.” We are in a similar situation when people think they can have any sexual pleasure as long as no one gets AIDS. Paul’s soul was revolted at the sight of a city “given to idolatry.” Paul’s response was to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to a community that desperately needed it. We are being invited to do no less.

Lawrence Temfwe