Anglican bishops in southern Africa have agreed to undergo voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and to encourage clergy and lay leaders of their diocese to be tested with them.
The bishops said the decision was reached in light of the AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, and with concern that the church has lagged in the struggle to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The bishops also expressed determination to demonstrate the church’s solidarity with people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
South African archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane said that the bishops “believe that history will measure this country’s slow response to the pandemic in human, not statistical terms, and that the inherent injustices will be judged as serious a crime against humanity as apartheid.
“What is becoming increasingly clear is the futility of looking to government for a solution. At the very least we need to apply pressure on our political leaders to change this situation. We need an urgent strategic planning meeting of all interested parties,” he said.