WCC, UNAIDS offer new tools to equip faith communities to end HIV

The WCC has launched two resources in collaboration with the UNAIDS Faith Partnership in the continued quest to support faith-based organizations and communities to respond to HIV.

The first, “Faith Sector Implementation of the Global AIDS Strategy,” summarizes global strategies on HIV and provides examples of sound and relevant interventions and actions for different faith actors.

The second, “Recommended Practices to Combat HIV-Related Stigma: A Guidebook for Local Faith Communities, “ presents experiences of local congregations and organizations responding to HIV stigma.

The latest UNAIDS Report notes that, since the first cases were diagnosed in 1981, more than 85 million people have become infected with HIV and more than 40 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. The WCC has a long history of involvement in the challenges HIV and AIDS have brought to the world.

Although there has been much progress and many successes, the HIV epidemic continues to present a challenge for today’s world. In 2022, there were around 39.0 million people living with HIV and more than 5 million of these did not know their status and could not access treatment.

“We highly value and appreciate recent WCC publications related to the HIV response for three reasons: First, they address crucial challenges related to the inequalities driving the epidemic. Second, they confirm that only a multi-stakeholder approach involving all partners can bring sustainable results. Third, they demonstrate commitment by one of the biggest global faith-based organizations to the implementation of the Global AIDS strategy, especially in this critical moment when objectives adopted by the international community are in danger,” said Jacek Tyszko, senior programme advisor of UNAIDS.

“Inequalities in access to life and health-giving love, grace, compassion, solidarity, and equity and justice continue to drive HIV stigma and AIDS itself. Given our reach and our infrastructure in health, education, and communication, faith communities and congregations are uniquely positioned to address these inequalities faster and more sustainably. This booklet will do much to enhance our ‘End Inequalities, End AIDS’ consciousness, competence, and resilience,” said Rev. Prof. Canon Gideon B Byamugisha, patron, INERELA +.

Link to “Faith Sector Implementation of the Global AIDS Strategy.”

Link to “Recommended Practices to Combat HIV-Related Stigma.”

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