Meeting the ambitious Fast Track targets for 2020, and the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, will require engaging with and supporting religious leaders, faith-based organizations and people of faith, many of whom have been deeply involved in all aspects of the HIV responses since AIDS was first identified 35 years ago.

Although the UNAIDS targets for 2020 are formulated in medical terms, the reality is that much of the work that must be done involves the non-medical, social aspects of the AIDS epidemic:  the barriers presented by stigma and discrimination, the importance of human rights in addressing the epidemic, the need to focus on key populations at increased risk of infection.  The need for social action is why faith-based initiatives are so important – the commitments and actions by people of faith, as well as their leaders, communities, and organizations, are vital to achieving the Fast Track targets.

In addition to their widespread influence and support networks in communities and in national and international policy, faith-based health organizations provide substantial proportion of HIV-related health care through their networks of hospitals, clinics, and community outreach, especially in high-burden countries.

Press conference and informal press briefings:

Religious leaders, faith-based representatives and key global partners responding to HIV will speak to media in several press briefings about the challenges and opportunities in the faith-based response to HIV, globally and locally.

All events will be livestreamed at (check this page for up to date information on events offered, locations and speakers)
Questions can be sent in advance or during the livestream to Sara Speicher

Monday, 18 July 3:00-3:45 pm
Faith and the Super Fast Track for Children living with HIV (TBC)

Tuesday, 19 July 3:00-3:45 pm (Media Centre room TBC)
Challenges and opportunities for collaboration in the faith-based response

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Dr Luiz Loures, deputy executive director, UNAIDS
Monsignor Robert Vitillo, general secretary, International Catholic Migration Commission
Sandra Thurman, chief strategy officer, PEPFAR

Wednesday, 20 July 4:00-4:45 pm (Press Conference Room 2)
Meeting the local and global challenges of faith response to the AIDS epidemic

Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, executive director, INERELA+
Rev. Edwin Sanders, senior servant, Metropolitan Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Rev. Fr Wilfredo Ruazol, executive assistant to the Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church
Anggia Ermarini, Indonesia
Rebecca Duerst, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Claudia Soliette Lopez, Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope

More resources available:

Coverage of faith-based participation:
Twitter: #FaithAIDS2016
Photos available for free download:

For more information or to request interviews with faith-based representatives, please contact Sara Speicher, coordinator of the AIDS 2016 Ecumenical Media Team at, +; or contact Marianne Ejdersten, WCC director of communication,, +41.79.507.6363