Much progress has been made since we first learned about HIV more than 35 years ago and we have made it through some very difficult times. We remember with thanksgiving those we have lost to this disease and for those who grieve, we pray God’s peace and comfort. Although medical advances have made it possible to prevent HIV from attacking the immune system, saving millions of lives, we recognize that we have not sufficiently scaled-up our responses to meet the need for prevention, treatment, care and support for all those living with and affected by HIV.
There has never been a more important time to be engaged in HIV response and as people of faith and faith communities we recognize that we have a great opportunity to provide critical leadership to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic. The United Church of Christ HIV & AIDS Network calls local churches, clergy and other faith leaders are join this call to action and declare your commitment to fast-track your responses to help end the HIV epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
Help us reach our goal - 1,000 Local Church endorsements by World AIDS Day 2018 (December 1)
CALL TO ACTION
Issued - December 1, 2016
We commit to:
- Step-up new and renewed efforts, acting on opportunities to integrate HIV response throughout our ministries.
- Develop and deepen our understandings of stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with and affected by HIV in our community and will work collaboratively on joint actions aimed to reduce and eliminate it.
- Provide pastoral care, accompaniment and support to persons in our church and community living with or affected by HIV;
- Provide information and opportunities for everyone in our church and community to learn about HIV, the modes of transmission, how to prevent infection and what the epidemic looks like in our community, nation and world;
- Offer opportunities for everyone in our church and community to know their HIV status through voluntary counseling and testing;
- Advocate for public health policies that make quality health care available, affordable and accessible to every person, provide adequate funding to ramp-up and strengthen programs for prevention, testing, treatment, care and support, and help to reduce and eliminate stigma and discrimination, including the decriminalization of HIV.