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Health Authorities Rope in Islamic Clerics in Battle Against HIV/AIDS in India's Kashmir

December 8, 2006

In India's deeply conservative Jammu-Kashmir state, the local AIDS prevention agency has recruited hundreds of Islamic clerks to boost awareness. "Whenever I deliver a sermon, I talk about AIDS," said top Muslim cleric Mufti Nazir Ahmed. "Methods to prevent AIDS correspond exactly with the teachings of Islam," he said, noting the faith's prohibitions against promiscuity and homosexuality. So far, some 600 clerics have been trained for the effort. However, to avoid offending, the clerics do not discuss condoms in their sermons.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press
12.01.2006; Aijaz Hussain

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