AIDS message ‘failing’

Published March 1, 2005

Church leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, the region of the world worst affected by the AIDS epidemic, say they appear to be failing to deliver the message about the disease to their people.

“We don’t seem to be winning the war,” said Rev. Mvume Dandala, general secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches.

UNAIDS, a United Nations’ program, estimates that while sub-Saharan Africa has just over 10 per cent of the world’s population, it is home to two-thirds of all people living with HIV.

Ignorance about the disease was contributing to its spread, Mr. Dandala told African church leaders gathered in Nairobi.

The church leaders noted that key government programs aimed at rolling back the pandemic were now using churches as channels for treatment and care, but they expressed anxiety about the future of the donor-funded programs.

“We should wake up or we are gone,” Rev. Malebogo Mothibi of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa said. “We should think of alternatives in case the funds dry up.”


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