XIX International AIDS Conference

TUSS02 The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Turning the Tide on the HIV Pandemic
  Special Session
Venue: Session Room 5
Time: 24.07.2012, 13:00 - 14:00
Chair: John DeGioia, United States
The goal of this session is to have a stimulating discussion with diverse leaders in the faith-based community. We will focus the session on critical and growing role of the faith community in increasing political will in the fight against AIDS, at the local, national and international levels. We feature the role that faith communities have and can continue to play in influencing the effective and accountable delivery of services, monitoring government commitments and increasing political will in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Webcast provided by The Kaiser Family Foundation

Panel discussion

K. Warren, United States
P. Boonchuay Doojai, Thailand
H. El-Banna, United Kingdom
M. Sembereka, Malawi

Rapporteur report

LAPC report by Esuyemi Ogunbanke


Role of Faith-based organizations in Turning the Tide against the HIV Epidemic


Faith based organizations  are  effective partners in the response to  the HIV epidemic. This is as  demonstrated by the experiences of three different religious denominations focusing on various aspects of the epidemic: prevention (VCT, training, advocacy) care and treatment


P. Boonchuay Doojai Asian Interfaith Network on AIDS working with Christians, Muslims and Buddhists in Thailand.   Monks working with HIV positive persons introduced him to the epidemic.  They started by housing PLWHAs at temples and with the support of government and the Global Fund provide prevention care and support through a best practice programme.

M.Sembereka of Malawi acknowledges the role of the church in stigmatizing PLWHA at the start of the epidemic.   His established network of about 1,500 religious leaders living with HIV, provides leadership to turn the tide by fighting stigma. He expressed concern that Western aid interventions have sometimes undermined the African effort.

K. Warren had an epiphany in 2002 after reading about 12 million children orphaned in Africa.  She developed a strategy for the church to help in inexpensive ways: testing, care and training programmes, know your status. Working in Rwanda from 2005, she was able to train7000 care workers.

Key points/recommendations

  1. The non-medical sector (including  FBOs) must take on a more active role which does not rely on international aid.
  2. The church should be a principle area of focus as the network, unlike others, is strong, wide and lasting.
  3. Inter faith partnerships are effective




    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.

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