Lutheran voices speaking up for people affected by HIV and AIDS

As the global community marks 2016 World AIDS Day today, 1 December, hundreds of church workers throughout The Lutheran World Federation communion in local congregations, communities and at global level, are raising awareness of the need to fight HIV and AIDS stigma, the need for treatment, and the deep impact of the pandemic on all spheres of life for those who are affected.

Listen to Busi Dube, program officer at the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa talks about the high rate of HIV in nearly all countries in the region. Dube says the AIDS response in these countries must meet the needs of society and be mindful of the major impact of the pandemic on all spheres of life.

Chengetai Mano, shares the LUCSA program to empower youth with knowledge about HIV and AIDS so that they can make informed choices. She highlights rape as one of the major concerns and cultural practices that affect young women.

Thandeka Mabhena talks about the challenges young people affected by HIV and AIDS face in Zimbabwe, a country with high unemployment. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe is trying to overcome the problem of reduced financial and human resources by working more with the local community.

Voluntary testing for HIV is not easily acceptable in many communities across the world. The United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India have come up with the idea of using the art of popular puppet shows to fight resistance to HIV testing in remote villages. As Beryl Logan explains, awareness about the pandemic has grown and the churches reached 12,000 people in remote villages last year.

What are some of the challenges that clergy living with HIV encounter? Rev. Amin Sandewa from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania explains how the situation has evolved from open rejection by congregations to acceptance. However church leaders must be willing to test for HIV, as role models for others.


world AIDS day 2016