World AIDS Day has a special meaning for the reverend Jim Mitulski. As the day is observed today, he´ll remember a time when AIDS was visible everywhere in San Francisco.
Mitulski should know. He buried an estimated 500 AIDS victims as the minister at the Metropolitan Community Church in the Castro District.
Now battling HIV himself, Mitulski says preaching alone won´t prevent people from engaging in self-destructive behavior. He says public health officials and churches should work together to lower the rate of new infections.
AIDS has killed 22 million people worldwide and left another 36 million facing a death sentence since it was discovered in 1981. About 18-thousand of the deaths have been in San Francisco.