HIV and AIDS in 2030
A Choice Between Two Futures

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Richard Stearns: The Choice Is Ours To Make

In 2001, when World Vision was ramping up its AIDS prevention initiatives, I called HIV a “Doomsday Virus”; the kind of apocalyptic pathogen that is the stuff of disaster movies.  It stalked its prey silently, passed from husband to wife and mother to child, showed no symptoms for months or even years so that it could continue to be transmitted unnoticed, and was effectively 100% fatal.  To make it worse, because it was spread through sexual contact, it became taboo to even discuss it openly.    Only a full-court press by the nations of the world could stop it.  And, remarkably, the world responded and began to win the battle to raise awareness, slow its spread and care for its victims.  But HIV, like a wolf at our door, doesn’t give up.  David Barstow’s book lays out two possible storylines based on the two possible choices the world might make.  One, is the ‘Doomsday’ scenario of terrible human suffering, and the other is the victorious ending where humanity ‘wins’ and the threat is averted.  We can write this next chapter, but what will we write? The choice is ours to make.

Richard Stearns

President Emeritus, World Vision US

David Barstow