July/August 2020
UMGAC Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 4
Editor: Douglas B. Smith

Word from Bishop Trimble

 “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

John Lewis (Tweet from June 2018)

Like Congressman Lewis, each of us is called by God to do the right thing while we’re on this earth – that is, love one another, do good, be kind and work for justice. Sometimes we may “get into trouble” through our actions, but we need not be discouraged.

The actions we take are necessary to tackle the pandemic of HIV & AIDS. HIV and AIDS, like racism and COVID-19, have taken a devastating toll on humanity. These human maladies are inter-locking and are manifestations of inequities in society.

God help us. Let us be instruments of peace, healing, reconciliation and transformation. Open our eyes and ears, Dear God, as we ruffle the feathers of the powers that be, muddy the waters and stir up the seas!

Be encouraged,
Julius Trimble, UMGAC Chair 

Donate Here

We Need Your Help

UMGAF Supports HIV & AIDS Projects Globally

Thank you for being a friend to UMGAF’s partners around the world, and to the many children, teenagers, teenage mothers and mothers, women and men who have been affected and infected by the HIV virus.

We are grateful for your support of the UMGAF Advance Fund #982345.

The Fund supports HIV & AIDS related projects around the globe. We know, in some parts of the world, HIV is not a death sentence; however, in many countries, it is unless education, testing, treatment and care is available.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the AIDS response and could disrupt it more. A six-month complete disruption in HIV treatment could cause more than 500 000 additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa over the next year (2020–2021), bringing the region back to 2008 AIDS mortality levels. Even a 20% disruption could cause an additional 110,000 deaths….”


Story of Hope:
UMGAF Project
Farai Danny Mhlanqa, Africa University

As a peer educator, the HIV Self-testing project was interesting and exciting to me. It was a welcome and productive project that helped me in reaching out to various communities of different cultures and traditions. It also gave me a sense of hope in eradicating the HIV epidemic in Africa.”

The HIVST project also helped us strengthen our Peer Network Club through participation workshops and travelling to other institutions. It allowed us to develop leadership and communication skills to engage young adults in these and other projects to come. We had an opportunity to showcase· our talents through debating, dancing, presentations, and music.

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The Three Pandemics: HIV/AIDS, Covid-19 and Racisim

Sponsored by UMGAC.
Possible courses are listed here and in the linked doument.


Church leaders generally have been silent, or negative, about promoting PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis) in combatting HIV. This forum would not only provide details about the medication globally but provide a theological basis for Christians to encourage its usage.

Racial Disparities, HIV & AIDS

The Black Lives Matter movement has become global, but particularly has focused on overcoming institutional white racism in the United States. The racial disparities are abundantly evident regarding HIV and AIDS and health care, HIV education, housing and populations most impacted by AIDS in the United States. .

More Information

Covid-19 and HIV & AIDS

Explore how COVID-19 is impacting the global effort to reduce HIV infections and AIDS deaths. People locked down globally results in people with HIV not getting treatment, preventive medication or testing. People lack food, causing hunger & causing people to stop medications. UNAIDS has estimated that in sub-Sahara Africa an additional 500,000 people could die from AIDS in 2020-21.

Stories from Annual Conferences
HIV Retreats Making a Difference

Strength for the Journey Retreat – California-Pacific Annual Conference
The Strength for the Journey Camp (SJ Camp) began as one-week event serving the Los Angeles area in 1988, sponsored by the AIDS Task Force of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. From the beginning it was envisioned as secular effort to provide a respite, support and caring for persons living with HIV/AIDS. To this point, most of our campers are on disability, SSI or some other fixed income and cannot afford a vacation. It was started by a Methodist Minister who was himself HIVpositive

Quality of Life Retreats – Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference

Quality of Life Retreats has been the most impactful HIV-AIDS ministry in the Baltimore Washington Conference over the last 30 years. The June 2020 retreat was cancelled due to COVID 19. They are hoping to have one in coming December. Retreat lasts 3 and ½ days -from ½ day of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and a half day of Thursday. The cost is $180 per person for 3-day retreat, but participants pay $30 and the rest is covered by the conference (and fund raising). There is a 12 person HIV -AIDS board at the conference level, meeting quarterly.

More Retreat Information

Current News Articles

Young People's Ministries
Sex-Education and HIV & AIDS

Education about HIV & AIDS is critical and needs to be available to young people. The United Methodist Church has a sex education curriculum that can be shared in local congregations.

The curriculum presents a Christian perspective on our bodies, decisions, and relationships[s for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade youth. Please take a look and think about ways you can sponsor a learning experience with your church youth!


Understanding HIV and Corona Virus

In 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received reports that five individuals in Los Angeles were suffering from an uncommon form of pneumonia. That was the beginning of a global pandemic still alive today, having claimed nearly a million lives. Almost forty years later,COVID-19 and has killed nearly three hundred thousand people.  Both diseases were accompanied by widespread fear, stigma, and misinformation, which hindered public health efforts.

Learn More

POZ 2020 HIV/AIDS Awareness Days

Annual awareness days help educate the general public and specific communities about HIV/AIDS. Since the virus affects people from all walks of life, the number of awareness days has increased over the years. Display this poster as a reminder of upcoming awareness days, and use the hashtags shown to promote them on social media.

Download Poster

Recent Events

July 4 to July 11 - The 23 International AIDS Conference, due to COVID-19, went virtual! It began July 4th and concluded July 11th. This event brought together HIV & AIDS experts, advocates and People Living with HIV or AIDS to explore progress and challenges with HIV and AIDS. It was a time for networking as well as identifying future priorities. Daily videos are available including Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Read More Videos

Upcoming Events

August 16, 2020 - HIV & Faith in Resilience and Renewal sponsored by the United US HIV & AIDS Faith Coalition.  

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October 15, 2020National Latino AIDS Awareness Day October 19-21, 2020

Read More


October 19-21, 2020 - US Conference on HIV & AIDS - Virtual Event! Registration is open and free for non-profits! One of the keynoters will be Dr. Anthony Fauci during the Federal Plenary on Tuesday, Oct 19th. The session will ask our federal leaders for the next steps in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

Read More

August 28, 2021 – “Breaking Barriers AIDS Conference: Tackling Stigma” – sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee at Hennepin UMC, Minneapolis, MN. This event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID but has been rescheduled for next year. Mark your calendars!


Closing Thought

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus.” John 14:27

The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee...

Faithfully works to engage annual conferences and local churches in HIV/AIDS education and advocacy and loving and compassionate outreach by raising awareness and providing faith-based resources and training. By doing this, we aim to eliminate deaths from HIV and AIDS, reduce stigma and advocate for and affirm persons living with and affected by HIV and AIDS around the world.

umgafund@gmail.com - www.umglobalaidsfund.com
©2018 Global AIDS Committee. All rights reserved.