Rwandan Religious Leaders Receive HIV Tests to Help Fight Stigma Associated With Virus
March 18, 2008
Fifty religious leaders from across Rwanda gathered last weekend in the city of Nyandungu to publicly receive HIV tests in an effort to fight the stigma associated with the virus, Rwanda's New Times reports. According to the Times, the one-day event sought to highlight the role of faith leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS and develop strategies to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma.
Binagwaho called on the faith leaders to further their outreach efforts aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS. "Since statistics show that 15% of the sick are children below 18 years, and these are the leaders of tomorrow, religious leaders should fight the stigma and talk to the youths about sexuality in their own words," she said. The leaders with the support of Christian Aid and CNLS plan to find approaches to fight the spread of HIV, as well as provide care and treatment for people living with the virus and their families, the Times reports. Leaders also have plans to strengthen advocacy for the legal rights of people affected by the disease, the Times reports (Mukaaya/Butera, New Times, 3/18).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.