Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Scotland is positive

THOUGH the Festival of Spirituality & Peace kicks off fully on 6 August, one 'conversations' event has already taken place - a powerful and moving opportunity to hear and meet Canon Gideon Byamugisha, an Anglican priest from Uganda who has been openly speaking about living with HIV since 1992.

The African church leader has also been a long-standing, brave and outspoken critic of attempts to introduce a controversial anti-homosexuality law in his home country.

In 1992, Gideon became the first African religious leader openly to declare his HIV-positive status. He has since devoted his life to an AIDS ministry. This has taken him to over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of the world.

Hosted by David Johnson, director of Waverley Care, Scotland is positive was an opportunity to hear how personal experience can stand up to attitudes that stigmatise and discriminate against people living with HIV in Scotland and across the world. It was also a challenge to policy makers within the political arena.

Gideon Byamugisha is driven by a passion for the dignity and rights of all people, especially those marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against because of their HIV-positive status. He has played leading roles in the Church of Uganda's AIDS programme, the Uganda AIDS Commission, World Vision International, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, special conferences of the United Nations, ICMDA HIV initiative, and in founding the African Network of Religious Leaders living with or Affected by HIV and AIDS. There is now also an equivalent international network.

No comments:

Post a Comment