In Bangladesh, the global Lutheran community works together with marginalized and vulnerable communities to stand up for human rights, respond to natural disaster, develop microcredit lending programs, increase food production, help children stay in school, and provide health care. Over 300,000 people are served by this ministry (called Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Development Services, or RDRS), including nearly 100,000 pregnant women. In addition to maternal health, eye care, and combating tuberculosis, leprosy and water-borne diseases, the ministry has a special focus on
HIV and AIDS prevention. RDRS incorporates HIV and AIDS awareness into its health education programs and has an outreach center for sex workers in the city of Saidpur. The center provides women with condoms and HIV education, as well as vocational training to help women escape prostitution.China
Although China is still a country with a relatively low occurance of HIV, the situation is rapidly changing. In 1999 alone, numbers of those who are HIV positive increased by 33%. HIV rates are increasing in all segments of the population. Yunnan, Xinjiang, Guangxi, Henan and Sichuan provinces are the most affected. The ELCA is partnering with Luzhou Church in Sichuan to implement HIV and AIDS and health education in its parish region. The education efforts seek raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and to prevent the spread of the disease. Luzhou Church is training HIV and AIDS educators at the county, township and village levels; creating HIV and AIDS education materials; communicating through radio, television and videos; and conducting house visitations in villages to share information and education materials. Health care programs in Yunnan province also address HIV and AIDS. India
The United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India (UELCI) is a communion of eleven member churches with a total membership of approximately 2.5 million people. The Lutheran communion in India is predominantly Dalit and Adivasi.
In India, the number of individuals affected by HIV and AIDS remains very high and the prevention and treatment of this disease continue to be a challenge for all. People living with HIV and AIDS are still treated unfairly due to the strong stigma associated with the disease in society. The UELCI tackles this challenge, in partnership with the ELCA, through an effort in all 11 member churches coordinated by its AIDS Desk. The program runs clinics, offers testing and treatment services to vulnerable populations and provides counseling to support people affected by HIV and AIDS. The program also helps people living with HIV and AIDS—especially women—to gain income-generating skills.
Christian Medical College in Vellore, a leading medical school and hospital in southern India, has invited ELCA to partner with them on the development and expansion of a palliative care program. Over the next few years, our collaboration will be focused on providing training on end-of-life care to thousands of medical professionals all over India, with the hope that terminal ill patients who have cancer, AIDS and other incurable diseases will receive proper and dignified treatments from healthcare workers in the last stage of their lives.In the Asia-Pacific region the ELCA also supports HIV and AIDS ministry in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and Nepal. For more information on HIV and AIDS ministries in the Asia-Pacific region please contact ELCA World Hunger at email@example.com.