HIV Resources for a Faith Response

This section contains a growing selection of resources that could be useful for a faith response to HIV. Please also share your resources with me!

 

World Council of Churches

Two initiatives of the World Council of Churches health and healing programme focus specifically on HIV and AIDS. Many wonderful and helpful documents have been developed by these two initiatives over the years. You can read more and access resources:

One Body

One Body started as a cooperation between national Church Councils in the Nordic European countries and Southern Africa. Together we have created material on HIV and AIDS(2006) and towards gender equality, including young people and overcoming violence (2014). The Fellowship of Christian Councils in southern Africa further developed the supplement (2016) as a response to the need for training. It is a continuation of the One Body Series, and discusses the same topics such as Human Dignity, Gender-Based Violence and Unity of Humanity as One Body and uses the method of dialogue.

You can access the resources from the website. in a number of languages.

Gender-based Violence

Thursdays in Black

Gender based violence is a universal and global issue that harms men, women and children in their most private spheres. We often feel helpless and hopeless in the face of so much pain and injustice. However, we can all be involved in a simple but powerful campaign to address gender violence. Every Thursday, people around the world wear black as a symbol of strength and courage, representing our solidarity with victims and survivors of violence, and calling for a world without rape and violence.
 
Thursdays in Black encourages everyone, men and women, to wear black every Thursday. This can be a campaign T-shirt, other black clothing or simply a campaign badge as a sign of their support. Wearing black on Thursdays shows others that you are tired of putting up with violence, and calls for communities where we can all walk safely without fear; fear of being beaten up, fear of being verbally abused, fear of being raped, fear of discrimination. The campaign is not confined only to countries at war, but recognises that violence takes many forms, including domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, incest, murder, female infanticide, genital mutilation, sexual harassment, discrimination and sex trafficking.
 
Thursdays in Black focuses on ways that individuals can challenge attitudes that cause rape and violence, on a personal and public level. It provides an opportunity for people to become part of a worldwide movement which enables the despair, pain and anger about rape and other forms of violence to be transformed into political action.
 
In South Africa, We Will Speak Out South Africa, together with many other individuals, churches, and organisations, strongly support and promote this campaign. As part of this support they make available a website with a very comprehensive database of materials related to sexual and gender-based violence. There is a specific section that focuses specifically on faith-based materials, including sermons, guidelines, Bible studies, etc.
 

HIV and Children

The World Council of Churches - Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance: Children, Adolescents and HIV

The WCC-EAA has been actively advocating for HIV treatment for children since 2006, raising awareness on the urgent need for HIV child-friendly and age appropriate medicines and by mobilising faith-based advocacy on paediatric AIDS.

The WCC-EAA developed the booklet: Faith Communities Taking Action with Children and youth living with HIV (pdf, 6.6 MB) providing guidelines for including a children's letterwriting campaign in advocacy.

WCC-EAA also shares many other resources for advocacy on children and HIV on their website.

Christian Sermon Guide Children And HIV For Religious Leaders

Developed by the AIDSFree Project, this sermon guide was developed to empower religious leaders with a tool and skills to reach their congregational members with key messages on paediatric HIV transmission and prevention; stigma and discrimination; and treatment, care, and support:, as well as male involvement in the whole HIV prevention and response continuum. 

The Christian sermon guide was developed in collaboration with religious leaders at the grassroots level and theologians in Nairobi, Kenya, taking cognisance of grassroots realities. Hence it is written to reflect the original tone and language used by the clergy and theologians who developed the sermon messages. This authenticity is preserved to ensure that the guide is adaptable to its primary audience, i.e., religious leaders in Nairobi, Kenya. However, the messages can be adapted to suit different country contexts. Biblical quotations in the guide are taken from the New International Version.

Download

Islamic Khutbah Guide Children And HIV For Religious Leaders

This sermon guide was developed to empower religious leaders with a tool and skills to reach their congregational members with key messages on paediatric HIV transmission and prevention; stigma and discrimination; and treatment, care, and support, as well as male involvement in the whole HIV prevention and response continuum. The Khutbah sermon guide was developed in collaboration with religious leaders at the grassroots level and theologians in Nairobi, Kenya, taking cognisance of grassroots realities. Hence it is written to reflect the original tone and language used by the clergy and theologians who developed the sermon messages. This authenticity is preserved to ensure that the guide is adaptable to its primary audience, i.e., religious leaders in Nairobi, Kenya. However, the messages can be adapted to suit different country contexts.

Download

School Health Toolkit 

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa has the highest HIV prevalence for any province at 27% [ref: 2018 HSRC HIV Impact Study], and also records the highest number of new TB cases annually. In April 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in partnership with the KZN Department of Health (DOH) started a HIV/TB project called “Bending the Curves” in King Cetshwayo District (pop. 114 000), aiming to reduce the incidence of HIV and TB, bring down HIV and TB morbidity and mortality, and to help the DoH achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 by 2020 targets.

The results of two major studies conducted by MSF made it clear that the HIV epidemic would not be overcome without a strong focus on youth, and with HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) being the most important entry point for HIV-related prevention, support, care and treatment, MSF embarked on a School Testing Program in 2012 in collaboration with local government, with the aim of reducing new HIV and TB infections while empowering high school learners through education to make informed decisions when it comes to sexual and reproductive health. In time, additional services were offered, and the initiative was renamed the MSF School Health Program.
South Africa's 1996 Constitution and Bill of Rights protects the right to make decisions regarding reproduction and the right to access healthcare services for both adults and children. Laws such as the National Health Act (2003), the Children's Act (2005) and others give effect to these constitutional rights for adults and children. The provision of Sexual and Reproductive health (SRH) services to learners is additionally addressed in several national policies and guidelines, most notably the Department of Health’s National HCT guideline, the Standard Operating Procedures for the Provision of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights and Social Services in Secondary Schools (hereafter referred to as DBE SOPs) the multi-departmental Integrated School Health Policy (ISHP), and the Department of Basic Education National Policy on HIV, STIs and TB for Learners, Educators, School Support Staff and Officials in all Primary and Secondary Schools in the Basic Education Sector (hereafter referred to as DBE National Policy). However, poor alignment of the relevant laws and policies is a significant barrier to service delivery, and there is a need for ongoing advocacy work to clarify grey areas and ensure that adolescents are able to easily access SRH services, especially in secondary schools. Schools are an important entry point because there is a high rate of learner retention in South Africa and, once out of school, it is difficult to reach young people [Ref: The World’s Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV in South Africa]. The reality is that school-based SRH services are currently not offered to learners in any of the country’s 9 provinces, with the exception of a handful of school health programs driven by non-governmental organizations.

As the country seeks to implement national policies on school-based health education and services it is important that the evidence and experiences of existing school health programs be accessible to service providers and role-players. It is for this reason that MSF has developed this School Health Program “toolkit”, detailing the approach we followed in developing the MSF School Health Program in King Cetshwayo District in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Access the tool here.

Stigma

NHIVNA Best Practice - The language of HIV: A Guide for Nurses

"Language impacts how we think about ourselves, and shapes how we see others. Over the past 30 years, people living with HIV have helped shape the language we use and their work has changed the way we discuss death, dying, sex and sexuality; ensuring that new discourse in the HIV field does not stigmatise, but rather catalyses empowerment for community members. Language has shaped person-centred care and, on the whole, people living with HIV have become empowered self-managers informing the delivery of healthcare services."

This resource is developed for nurses but very useful for all of us working with people living with or affected by HIV.

Advocacy Tools

Pediatrics Advocacy Brief

Interfaith Health Program, Emory University. January 2019

On 17 November 2017, leaders of major pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, multilateral organisations, donors, governments, organisations providing or supporting services for children living with HIV, and other key stake- holders participated in a High-Level Discussion on Scaling Up Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Children and Adolescents. The meeting was convened by His Eminence Peter Appiah Kodowo Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and Caritas Internationalis, and in close collaboration with the World Council of Churches-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF).

In recognition of the urgency of making more optimal paediatric ARV formulations available in 2018 and beyond, the participants of the High-Level Dialogue agreed to the following good faith commitments to focus, accelerate, and collaborate on the development, registration, introduction, and roll-out of the most optimal paediatric formulations and diagnostics.

Download here

Gender Advocacy Brief

Interfaith Health Program, Emory University. January 2019

Tremendous progress against AIDS over the past 15 years has inspired a global commitment to end the epidemic by 2030. Of the 37.6 million people living with HIV, 20.9 million are accessing HIV treatment as of July 2017. Through support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and other partners, more people are living longer, healthier lives with HIV. However, women are still disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic around the globe; as of 2016, AIDS-related illnesses were the lead- ing cause of death among women of reproductive age (15-49 years), and new infection rates are 44% higher in young women than in young men.1 Young men, however, also have an increased risk of dying from HIV. In many communities around the world, faith-based organisations (FBOs) are finding ways to work with those living with HIV in ways that shift harmful cultural and gender norms to provide HIV information and care to both men and women.

Through the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free Framework and the PEPFAR/UNAIDS Faith Initiative, PEPFAR and UNAIDS are working together with four faith partners to strengthen the engagement of faith leaders and communities to address gender inequities, toxic masculinities, and sexual and gender-based violence, and to create demand for treatment and support retention in care.2,3

Working together, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and their faith-based partners are working to support women’s empowerment, address gender-based violence, and encourage men to understand their own roles and responsibilities in supporting HIV prevention and treatment and addressing gender inequities.

Download here.

Migration

ROAD MAP - HIV among Migrants and Refugees: Strengthening collaboration among faith-based organizations, multi-lateral organizations, governments, and civil society addressing HIV risk, provision of services, and advocacy.

70 individuals from 40 organizations, representing 36 countries gathered in the Ecumenical Center, Geneva, on 20 and 21 February 2019 to develop a Road map for strengthening collaboration among faith-based organizations, multi-lateral organizations, governments, and civil society addressing HIV risk, provision of services, and advocacy.

Migration and displacement can place people in situations of higher risk of vulnerability to HIV, and have been identified in certain contexts as an independent risk factor for HIV. In many countries, refugees and migrants, and, in particular, mi- grants in irregular situations, face complex obstacles, including a lack of access to health-care services and social protec- tions. In addition, social exclusion leaves refugees and migrants highly vulnerable to HIV infection. However, migration and displacement do not equal HIV vulnerability and existing HIV policies and programmes targeting migrants and refugees may actually contribute to increased stigma and discrimination. Efforts must be made to reduce barriers to health services for the benefit of refugees, migrants, their communities and the global response to HIV.

Read or download.

Human Rights

Baseline assessment –South Africa Scaling up Programs to Reduce Human Rights- Related Barriers to HIV and TB services

This report documents the results of a baseline assessment carried out in South Africa to sup- port its efforts to scale up programs to reduce human-rights-related barriers to HIV and TB services. Since the adoption of its new Strategy 2017-2022: Investing to End Epidemics, the Global Fund has joined with country stakeholders, technical partners and other donors in a major effort to expand investment in programmes to remove such barriers in national re- sponses to HIV, TB and malaria (Global Fund, 2016a). While the Global Fund will support all countries to scale up programmes to remove barriers to HIV, TB and malaria services, it is providing intensive support in 20 countries in the context of its corporate Key Performance Indicator (KPI) 9: “Reduce human rights barriers to services: # countries with comprehen- sive programs aimed at reducing human rights barriers to services in operation (Global Fund, 2016b).” Based on criteria that included needs, opportunities, capacities and partner- ships in the country, the Global Fund selected South Africa, with 19 other countries, for inten- sive support to scale up programmes to reduce barriers to services. This baseline assessment, focusing on HIV and TB, is a component of the package of support the country will receive.

The objectives of the baseline assessment were to:

  • Identify the key human-rights-related barriers to HV and TB services in South Africa;
  • Describe existing programmes to reduce such barriers;
  • Indicate what a comprehensive response to existing barriers would comprise in terms of the types of programmes, their coverage and costs; and,
  • Identify the opportunities to bring these to scale over the period of the Global Fund’s 2017- 2022 strategy.

The assessment took place between October and November 2017. It included a desk review, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. It was conducted by the Health Economics and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) of the University of KwaZulu Natal under contract to the Global Fund.

Download here