The Church must lead in transforming social attitudes about gender inequality as part of the fight against HIV/AIDS, said a Christian agency on the closing day of the 17th International AIDS Conference.
“There is a desperate need for the leadership of the Church to smarten up to gender-related issues like violence and issues of power and control,” said Tearfund’s chief executive Matthew Frost on Friday. “Gender inequality is one of the key drivers of the pandemic. The Church is in a key position to transform attitudes within the community. It cannot remain silent.”
Lyn Lusi, who works with women affected by sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said gender inequalities leave women “disempowered” and more vulnerable to violence, including rape. more >>
Prominent church leaders and HIV/AIDS experts agreed Tuesday that partnerships among different sectors of society is the best way forward in the battle against history’s deadliest disease.
"After 25 years, HIV is still a new disease, and we need new strategies, tools and programs," said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, executive secretary of the National AIDS Control Commission of Rwanda, at a panel discussion for the XVII International AIDS Conference.
"This is all about partnership, and if we partner it is because we are different, not because we are the same." more >>
The faith community will continue to advocate for the lifting of travel restrictions on people living with HIV until the rule is removed worldwide, vowed religious leaders at the 17th International AIDS Conference.
“For both the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and the Lutheran World Federation this (travel restrictions on HIV+ people) is both an issue of faith and of human rights,” said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of ELCA and president of LWF on Monday.
“As a religious leader, I am convinced that lifting discriminatory travel restrictions is a responsible act of justice and mercy. Most of those restrictions are born out of fear and ignorance,” Hanson said. more >>
Religious leaders at a summit ahead of the 17th International AIDS Conference urged congregations worldwide to tackle HIV/AIDS not only with physical care, but also mentally by removing the stigma that the Church had helped create.
HIV-positive religious leaders at the inaugural summit of Religious Leaders Living with HIV on Sunday asserted that church leaders are the hope for changing how communities view people with HIV, according to Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.
“I believe that God can use HIV to heal the church,” said the Rev. J.P. Heath, acting executive director of International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+), which sponsored the summit on Sunday. more >>
WASHINGTON - President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that triples U.S. funding to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world.
The five-year, $48 billion plan renews a program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa alone and is widely seen as one of the major achievements of the Bush presidency.
Bush said the program, launched by him in 2003, "is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in human history." more >>
The U.S. Senate voted Thursday evening to re-authorize the multi-billion-dollar President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) bill that would help prevent contraction of HIV in Africa while providing treatment to the millions of people who are already infected.
Over the course of five years, the $48 billion PEPFAR legislation aims to prevent 12 million HIV infections and treat 3 million people. It will also provide funding for tuberculosis and malaria responses.
“We commend the lawmakers who have come together on a bi-partisan, comprehensive agreement on the Global AIDS, TB and Malaria Bill providing a much-needed increase in U.S. assistance to address the needs of millions of orphans and vulnerable children affected by these epidemics,” said Robert Zachritz, World Vision’s director of advocacy and government relations in the United States. more >>