Christian Today states that
a new report from Christian Aid informs individuals that the Church is playing a vital role in helping prevent the spread of HIV and break the stigma that surrounds the disease.
The report contradicts the common misconception that faith communities are a barrier to the successful treatment and prevention of HIV and Aids.
Although abstinence is one of the most reliable ways of preventing exposure to HIV, the Christian Aid-supported work takes the approach that this is not able to be taught in isolation.
The report details the hard work that Christian leaders have done in countries that have high HIV rates and have conquered social stigmas, to openly teach about the emphasis of sexual health and condoms in preventing the spread of the disease.
Peer-led awareness is very effective, and there is a lot of influence of religious leaders in educating local communities.
The report highlights the example of Rev Joseph Njakai, an Anglican priest who is based at Daystar University.
Rev Joseph Njakai said,
"He suggested that when he speaks to a congregation to persuade them to accept people living with HIV rather than reject them, that perhaps 50% will hear and understand him, while the other 50% accept his words solely as “blind faith”, meaning that they do not genuinely believe what he says, but they accept it anyway because he is a recognised religious authority,"
It is positive news that the Church has such a significant influence on the stigma of HIV and Aids. Hopefully the future will smash the stereotypical images of the types of people who can get HIV or Aids. It is not only drug users, homosexuals or people who are promiscuous. Anyone can get HIV or Aids. It is vital to use precaution and prevent this disease from spreading in the first place.