Faith-based groups can help stem AIDS in Africa, say UN…

first_imgFaith-based groups can help stem AIDS in Africa, say UN officials By John ZarocostasPosted Jul 20, 2012 Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Youth Minister Lorton, VA Tags Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Smithfield, NC Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Featured Jobs & Calls This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Press Release Service Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Submit a Press Release Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Collierville, TN Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Ecumenical & Interreligious, Director of Music Morristown, NJ An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Belleville, IL The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Anglican Communion, Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY [Ecumenical News International] Religion and faith-based groups play a very important role in many poor countries–especially in sub-Saharan Africa–in the fight to stem the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, senior United Nations health officials said on 18 July.In countries such as Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, and Tanzania, they provide up to 40 percent of health services, said Paul De Lay, deputy executive director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).Organizations run by Adventists, Catholics, Lutherans, and the Salvation Army specialize in hospitals and the delivery of healthcare services, said De Lay in an interview ENInews.“They can also play a very powerful role in dealing with stigma and discrimination that surround the AIDS epidemic, welcoming people who are HIV positive–people who disclose their status within their congregations–rather than excluding them,” he added.Though there have been examples of faith groups giving confusing information about condoms, or practicing discrimination, these have been exceptions, said De Lay.“We see religion and faith-based organizations as a strong ally in the AIDS response. We need to work better with them,” he concluded.Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, director of the HIV department at the World Health Organization, told ENInews that faith-based health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa play a “tremendous role” in providing services, especially where efforts from the government and the private health sector are weak.Sally Smith, partnership adviser and focal point for faith and religion organizations  at UNAIDS, said there is a “huge potential to scale-up” faith-based services, and noted the service they deliver far outweighs the number of grants they receive from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.A new UNAIDS study, “Together We Will End AIDS,” released on 18 July ahead of the upcoming XIX International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington, D.C. from 22-27 July, says Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV (23.5 million), new infections (1.7 million), and deaths due to AIDS (1.2 million). 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