Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and associated conditions are spreading rapidly around the world. On the basis of statistical studies it is estimated that in the near future, in many countries of the world, every church congregation numbering 100 or more will include at least one member who has a friend or relative with AIDS.
AIDS is transmitted through two major sources:
sexual intimacy with an infected person, and introduction
of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) contaminated
blood into the body either through injections
with unsterile needles and syringes or through
contaminated blood products. AIDS can be prevented
by avoiding sexual contact before marriage and maintaining
a faithful monogamous relationship with an
uninfected person in marriage, and by avoiding the
use of unsterile needles for injections and assuring
the safety of blood products.
Adventists are committed to education for prevention
of AIDS. For many years Adventists have fought
against the circulation, sale, and use of drugs, and
continue to do so. Adventist support sex education
that includes the concept that human sexuality is
God’s gift to humanity. Biblical sexuality clearly limits
sexual relationships to one’s spouse and excludes
promiscuous and all other sexual relationships and
the consequent increased exposure to HIV.
The Christlike response to AIDS must be personal—compassionate,
helpful, and redemptive. Just
as Jesus cared about those with leprosy, the feared
communicable disease of His day, His followers today
will care for those with AIDS. James advised, “What
good is there in your saying to them, ‘God bless you!
Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don’t give them the
necessities of life?” (James 2:16, TEV).
This public statement was released by the General
Conference president, Neal C. Wilson, after consultation
with the 16 world vice presidents of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, on July 5, 1990, at the General
Conference session in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church urges every individual and
every nation to cooperate in stamping out the worldwide drug
epidemic that undermines the social structure of nations and on
the individual level often kills its victims or leads them into lives
Seventh-day Adventists believe the Bible teaches that each
human body is a “temple of the living God,” which should be
cared for intelligently (2 Cor. 6:15-17).
The church’s Bible-based Fundamental Belief No. 22 states,
“Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most
healthful diet possible. . . . Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco,
and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to
our bodies, we are to abstain from them. . . . Instead, we are
to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the
discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and
For vibrant living, Seventh-day Adventists urge everyone to
follow a lifestyle that avoids tobacco products, alcoholic beverages,
and the misuse of drugs.
This public statement was released by the General Conference president,
Neal C. Wilson, after consultation with the 16 world vice presidents of
the Seventh-day Adventist Church, June 1985, at the General Conference
session in New Orleans, Louisiana.