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HIV/AIDS
There are an estimated 77,400 adults living with HIV/AIDS in the UK (AVERT). London is the epicentre of this epidemic, accounting for almost half of all HIV diagnoses in the UK.

Although AIDS gets less attention from the media in the UK than it did during the early days of the diseases spread into the country, itís far from a problem of the past. Statistics show that the epidemic has expanded, with the annual rate of new HIV diagnoses rising almost threefold between 1995 and 2005 (AVERT).

Many people who are living with HIV seek support and guidance from God and so it is important that we educate and empower faith leaders so that they in turn can use their influence to raise awareness and understanding throughout our society.

The particular groups most at risk from HIV/AIDS include the socially excluded, the homeless, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, prisoners and recent immigrants from countries where HIV is endemic.

However, many others have become complacent, putting themselves at risk by continuing to have multiple partners and refusing to change their behaviour because of a belief it will not happen to them. There are also many who do not know their HIV status because they fear what a positive diagnosis will mean.

Someone has to do something
It is time that the Church joined others in the war against HIV/AIDS. Power Arena is organising a four day Interceders Conference to educate people about HIV/AIDS to help remove the associated stigma that still exists within many Church circles.

We aim to encourage people to access screening, voluntary testing and treatment services. This is part of a coordinated campaign to raise awareness and make sure people know the facts about the disease. Faith leaders have the power to influence many thousands of people. Our goal is to encourage them to use that power to raise awareness in their communities.


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