Iran’s Health Ministry has recently reported that Iran has 23,902 people carrying the HIV virus based on data collected from clinics and universities. It is likely the actual figure is a lot higher. The report confirms what everyone knows: HIV and drugs go together. Nearly 70% of the HIV cases reported were the result of addicts swapping dirty syringes. Nearly 20% were due to unknown causes, and 10% due to sexual intercourse. There is no mention of homosexuality. The low figures on sex and HIV, and the silence on gay sex is almost certainly because shame closes mouths.
This is an opportunity for the church. Religion harshly condemns sexual immorality to the fires of hell. Jesus says, ‘I don’t condemn you, because I have died for you – go and sin no more.’ The Gospel has power to take lives from shame to integrity, from healing to health. Sensitive ministers are needed to seek out those who are being consumed by guilt and possibly suffering from the HIV virus. They need to hear about Jesus’ love.
• Health clinics to serve victims of the HIV virus effectively
• Christian ministers to be raised up for HIV sufferers
• Church to be a place of forgiveness and acceptance for HIV sufferers