There are an estimated 77,400 adults living with HIV/AIDS in the UK
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).
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
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.
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
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