Religious leaders are getting tested for HIV in hopes of inspiring others across the world to seek testing, too. Increasing the number of people receiving HIV testing is vitally important in the effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Policymakers, programme managers, and service providers – including faith communities – must use more human rights norms and standards to guide a global response to HIV, said a statement submitted by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, an ecumenical initiative of the World Council of Churches, to the Human Rights Council.
In Africa, where up to 40 per cent of the health care facilities are provided by faith related organisations, Dr Mirfin Mpundu, executive director of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN), says that due to their unique position, churches can play a special role in eliminating HIV and AIDS and bringing improvements in the lives of people living with the virus.
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.