Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Read Now: TheBodyPRO.com Covers AIDS 2014
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Keeping the Faith in Fighting AIDS in Africa

April 8, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Twenty-two representatives of leading churches and mosques in Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are in New York for AIDS education and advocacy training.

The Balm in Gilead -- a Manhattan-based coalition of more than 12,000 US churches that aims to stop the spread of HIV throughout the African diaspora -- organized a six-week course for the Africans. CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have together contributed $2 million to the training, which is part of a larger effort to build the capacity of faith communities in the five countries to address the epidemic.

The Balm in Gilead has established offices in leading churches and mosques in the five countries where it provides technical support for AIDS prevention activities. The delegation in New York will train clergy in their home countries to pass on their knowledge to their congregations. "This is the first time an African-American organization has gone to Africa to say we want to partner with you," said founder and CEO of the Balm in Gilead Pernessa Seale. "We are empowering them. HIV intervention must come from African people. Only Africans understand African traditions."

More than two dozen counselors, health educators, clergy and researchers from CDC, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, the Black Church HIV/AIDS Institute and other organizations are facilitating the training.

Advertisement
The African delegates said that stigma, lack of information, denial, poverty, poor health care, hundreds of dialects -- 300 in Nigeria alone -- belief in witchcraft and other cultural practices remain roadblocks in the battle against AIDS in Africa. One of the trainees, the Rev. Kaine D. Nwashili, national director of the Interfaith HIV/AIDS Council of Nigeria, said he sees "a bright future for the faith community in addressing the AIDS problem in Nigeria. This is the first time Christians and Muslims are coming together. What is binding us is the issue of AIDS."

Back to other CDC news for April 8, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Newsday (New York City)
04.06.03; Merle English

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More on Protestantism and HIV/AIDS

Tools
 

Advertisement