Faith-Based Organizations Vital to the Response to HIV. 19/6/2017
Published by UNAIDS
Stepping up the role of faith-based organizations in the response to HIV can present new opportunities to save the lives of children living with HIV in western and central Africa, agreed the participants at a meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 14–16 June.
The Regional Consultation on Early Diagnosis and Treatment for HIV-Positive Children: Strengthening the Engagement of Faith-Based Organizations saw more than 100 representatives of faith-based organizations, governments and organizations of people living with HIV come together to discuss the role of faith-based organizations in the response to HIV. The participants, who were mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, agreed that churches, mosques, religious leaders and the health facilities they support are critical to ensuring that HIV among children is diagnosed and treated.
The participants developed plans to create demand for testing and treatment, as well as to support people living with HIV to stay in care. The participants also planned to build the capacity of faith-based service providers to deliver quality HIV services for children and discussed the strengthening of age-appropriate HIV and sexual health education in faith schools.
The event was organized by Caritas Internationalis, UNAIDS and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, with the support of Caritas Nigeria.