Sunday, 14 August 2011

Positive faith messages on HIV

BREAKING the stigma and silence around HIV and AIDS is vital to tackling the issue locally and globally, said Winnie Sseruma, a Ugandan Catholic who has lived with HIV for 23 years, at a powerful discussion as part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace today.

Among the issues discussed was how preachers help or hinder the spread of AIDS, particularly in Africa. Ms Sseruma works with Christian Aid on awareness and action programmes.

She was in conversation at St John's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, with Oonagh O’Brien from the Institute for International Health and Development at Queen Margaret University and Ewan Aitken of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland.

Since “Christianity reaches more people than healthcare” it matters what the churches and other faith communities say about HIV/AIDS, the panel declared: not just because of their reach, but because of their authority within the lives of millions of people. 

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