Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
This Conference, recognising (a) that the disease AIDS poses a catastrophic threat to every part of the world, and (b) that unless preventative measures are taken, the disease can spread rapidly (though the long latency period may mask its presence, thus giving a false sense of security), asks bishops to accept their responsibility to witness to Christ's compassion and care, in response to this crisis, by giving a lead in:
1. The promotion of, and co-operation with, educational programmes both of Church and state concerned with the cause and prevention of the disease, in a loving and non-judgemental spirit towards those who suffer.
2. The development of diocesan strategies: (a) to train and support pastoral helpers; (b) to give direct personal support to those living with AIDS; (c) to identify and try to resolve the social problems leading to and arising from the disease; (d) to reaffirm the traditional biblical teaching that sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship.
3. The need to work together: (a) to encourage global co-operation between Churches, governments and non-government agencies in the fight against the disease; (b) to develop ways in which the Churches can share information and resources; (c) to press where necessary for political action; (d) to promote prayer for all concerned, not forgetting those active in research to discover a cure.
(See further paras 161-194 of the Report on "Christianity and the Social Order.")