Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: Compassionate Care: Healing for The Soul with HIV/AIDS.

Dr Lee Ann B. Marino. Compassionate Care: Healing for The Soul with HIV/AIDS. Joshua Tree Publishing: La Vergne, Tennessee. 2010.

It is a 143 page book lucidly and fluidly written to the comprehension of the medical laity. Compassion Care (CC) is divided into 5 parts with some necessary appendixes like a glossary, healing centers, references and an abridged biography of the author. The book is different from most other books written on this subject because it is the first of its kind that attempts to trace the source, states the symptoms(p. 7) and progression (p. 7-9)manifestation, proposes a cure and then suggests the position and responsibility of the church vis a vis the carriers or those whose beloveds are HIV positive. Her challenge in the fifth chapter to the church about getting directly involved against HIV makes the book very timely and necessary for both churched and unchurched on the surface of the earth.

In many churches and denominations, the usual call is for individuals to abstain from sex as a prevention of HIV/AIDS. Yet considering that the human nature is fallible, and will not be able to abstain, it is expedient for them to be given ample information of what HIV/AIDS is all about. With sustained research and biblical exposition, Dr Ann Lee Marino serves the world in a single book. She weaves through the pages; converting even the most complex theories about HIV/AIDS into simple and concrete undertakings.

She starts by reemphasizing the basic truisms about HIV/AIDS like the two types HIV-1 and HIV-2, and the fact that HIV has no known cure. She also confirms that that there are at least 5 ways that individuals can contract the disease (p. 5-6).

Marino affirms “the first, and most accepted school of thought, states HIV/AIDS originated with the Rhesus Monkeys in Africa” (p. 11). She disputes the second school of thought that theorizes “the disease passed to humans from infected chimpanzees by ingesting infected meat or direct blood contact with them (i.e., by through a bite or scratch)”. The third school claims it was a biological or germ warfare, and the fourth school ascribes it to Polio vaccine. The fifth school claims it is some sort of nutritional deficiencies, and the sixth school “teaches HIV/AIDS does not exit at all.

Like many other western authors, she stumbles on the origin and history of HIV/AIDS (p. 11-16). There are many questions that logic will fault even the origin of the first school of thought and rather align with the third school of thought. The theory that HIV/AIDS could be zoonotic is scientifically weak because it will mean there must be animals in that area that transmitted the disease. Then most animals in that area would have been affected. Four years ago I stated that “No one contests the fact that HIV destroys the immune system and that any disease at this hour could kill you. However, the mode of transmission: Mosquitoes to Human challenges the very ethos of HIV breeding ground. In other words; we are saying that not only humans are breeding grounds for HIV.” In the same article I said “Researchers are the ones who said HIV means Human Immunodeficiency Virus. So the quick question is does it live in animals and insects? Then it would be Animo Immuno Deficiency Virus. How long does that virus live in a non breeding surface to be able to be transmitted into another human?”

Notwithstanding, whether HIV/AIDS comes from animals in Africa or Biological Warfare from an American laboratory, it is certain that HIV/AIDS is real and it does kill. Dr Marino has not only raised the awareness, but she has emphasized the urgency the church needs to make the gospel of Jesus-love your neighbor as yourself real as they embrace those with HIV and those who will (P. 35-38). Isn’t it absurd and even ungodly that the church still stigmatizes HIV/AIDS victims? Should carriers of HIV/AIDS still be facing more problems from the church more than those with cancer or other sexually transmissible diseases? Why does the church refuse to bless a wedding when one partner or both are HIV positive, but they can do that with cancer patients? Isn’t both all terminal diseases? No matter whatever terminal diseases an individual faces, he or she should not be stigmatized. Consequently, Dr Marino goes the extra length to unravel all the necessary support that may be available to churches to support the HIV patients. Jesus said "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." If churches have the information that is in this book, they will save many lives as pages 65-101 elaborate on that. Looking at the information in this book, I will encourage everyone to get a copy and especially for churches to distribute to their Christians.

Until then, may the church and Christians be the lighthouses of compassion to the HIV/AIDS Patients.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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