On the panel were two incredible plwha (people living with HIV/AIDS); a heterosexual female and a heterosexual male (who was prenatally infected). Their messages were strong and dynamic! Also sitting on the panel was a holistic nutritionist, who was quite boring and didn't make much sense to me about diet and HIV (but that's a whole other blog post); an infectious disease doctor who ran through current stats and information, and a guy who just pissed me off - the church's Minister /Pastor (not sure what the correct title is so excuse my ignorance hoping I don't offend anyone).
Before I get into my rant, I want to make clear that I respect all religions, all lifestyles and all beliefs. Everyone is entitled to his/her own path in life no matter one's faith or other spiritual beliefs (or maybe none at all).
Moving on, the communities that this church serves, from my first initial glance which was then confirmed by the panelists, are high-risk for HIV infection. So, as the panel discussion continued on the Minister made an announcement that their church will begin to distribute condoms. Now thinking to myself, "Wow, this is pretty cool to hear!" Then I simply gasped . . . STUNNED at what came out of this Minister's mouth next.
"We will be selective to whom we choose to give a condom. If you do not follow our congregation's beliefs or meet our religious criteria we may choose not to give you a condom if you ask us for one."
Can someone please help me to understand why this community serving institution would make this kind of policy. Let's say an adolescent, or young adult or even senior walked in off the street, wanting to protect his/her own life knowing this church has condoms, but then is turned away. . . because he/she does not meet the religious criteria for the condom distribution program. Am I missing something here??!!??
I am Daniel and I am living pozitively. Thank you for following my blog.
p.s. please consider following me on Twitter or adding me as a friend on Facebook.