What Can We Can Do?


  • Small pieces of paper
  • Visible writing surface
  • Markers
  • Poster board



Dreams (15 minutes)

Cut out enough small pieces of paper so that everyone gets one. On one out of every four pieces write “You are HIV +.” On the rest of the sheets write “HIV -. ” Fold the pieces of paper so that they can’t see each other’s papers.

Have participants sit in a circle with an arm’s length between them. Go around the circle asking each person to say what they hope to be doing when they are 25. For pre-teens ask them what they hope to be when they “grow up.” This should include what type of job they hope to have, where they will live, whether or not they think they’ll be married, etc. When everyone is finished, hand out the papers instructing participants that they can’t tell anyone what their paper says.

Say, “Statistically, one out of four of you could become infected with a sexually transmitted disease this year, including HIV. Some of you have ‘You are HIV +’ on your papers. Think about what it would really be like to find out your HIV +.”

Have all the people with HIV move to the center of the circle.

Ask the following:

  • How would it change your life?
  • What does this do to the dreams you just talked about?
  • HIV- people, how would it change the way you thought about and acted to the HIV+ people?
  • Is there anything that you used to do together that you would be afraid of doing?
  • What are some negative ways that you or someone else might react to them?
  • HIV + people, what kind of help do you think you might need?


Finding the Needs (10 minutes)

Discuss the following questions:

  • What do you think people with HIV/AIDS need? Why?
  • What do you think could happen to a person who gets HIV? [They could lose their job and home, Friends and family could reject them, etc.]
  • Why do you think God allows people to get HIV and develop AIDS? [He gives us free will so that we aren’t simply robots; It’s an opportunity to remember what’s really important; etc..]


I Care, But I Can’t Help Because . . . (10 minutes)

Brainstorm with participants all the reasons people might say they couldn’t help someone who has AIDS. Write down all responses. Ask them how they think they could help people with AIDS. Be prepared to supply some possible answers to get the participants started.


Jesus and the Sick: Looking for an Example (15 minutes)

Split participants into four groups (fewer if you don’t have that many people). Give each group one of the following citations: Matt 25: 31-46, Luke 5:12-14, Luke 10: 25 -37, 1John 4:19-21.

Say, “Sometimes we don’t know how we are supposed to act, or we do know but we need an example to show us that it can be done. Look up your citation and make up a short skit that demonstrates how Jesus would act toward people with HIV and AIDS. All skits should be in the present.”


Project (Remaining time or during a later session)

Investigate what type of assistance your area provides for people with HIV and AIDS. Contact AIDS Service Organization, hospitals and other agencies to ask how your group could help. Maybe go and visit, or have a fund raiser to help patients with AIDS who can’t afford treatment. Donate canned goods or grocery store certificates to help people with HIV who cannot afford these necessities. It might be as simple as writing a card saying, “God loves you and we do too!” Be creative!

Remember to receive the blessing of your parish priest and fully inform the parents about what you intend to do.


Conclusion: The Bible tells us that if one part of the body of Christ suffers, the whole body suffers. That means if one person is suffering, we all suffer. Jesus, Himself, tells us that if we ignore the sick and suffering He will ignore us when we come face to face with Him at the Last Judgement. Its about becoming Christ for someone else and showing God’s loving compassion through our actions. We must reach out to people with HIV and AIDS and show them that God loves them and hasn’t forgotten them. How do we do this? By making sure we don’t forget or ignore them ourselves!