Churches asked to be change agents on World AIDS Day

By staff writers
1 Dec 2007

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance in Geneva, a partnership involving major Christian development and church agencies, including several in the UK, is encouraging people of faith to take individual and collective responsibility for combatting HIV/AIDS.

Among the ideas they are promoting which combine worship, prayer, and learning are the following:

  • Find out what your church has said about HIV and AIDS and ask church leaders what they have done to follow up on their statements.
  • Learn about the commitments toward universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support made by governments and how you can join in civil society to ensure that effective targets are made and kept. UNGASS.
  • Link up to other community events around World AIDS Day. Promote and take part in them. Work with and support networks of people living with HIV and AIDS.
  • Help mobilize action in your community - such as a march, vigil, or letter-writing campaign - calling on your national leaders to set clear targets for their commitments on HIV and AIDS and to actively work towards universal access by 2010. Use the posters and other resources from the World AIDS Campaign
  • Visit political leaders or write to them to make sure that they are keeping to commitments they have made for the care and support of people living with HIV and AIDS. Lobby them to increase their commitments.
  • Join in 16 Days Against Gender Violence, November 25-December 10 as part of an already existing local or national activity or take action on your own. The Center for Women's Global Leadership has an international calendar of activities.
  • Write journal articles, letters to the editor, newsletter articles about HIV and AIDS and the role of faith communities.
  • Be tested for HIV. It is important for all of us to know our status, so that we can make informed decisions that affect our own health and that of the people we love. Seek out and promote good counseling and confidential testing. This is also an important way for religious and community leaders to break down the stigma often associated with HIV and testing.

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance brings together more than 100 churches and church-related organizations committing themselves to "speak out with one voice against injustice, to confront structures of power, practices and attitudes which deprive human beings of dignity and to offer alternative visions based on the Gospel."

Website: http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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