The consultation brought together 40 participants from WCC/CCN member churches and other faith communities, people living with HIV, adolescents and youth, people with disabilities and others. The central objective of the consultation was to reflect on the impact of exclusive claims to faith healing on HIV treatment adherence.
Rev. Dr Benebo Fubara-Manuel, president of the Christian Council of Nigeria, urged people to stop stigmatizing people living with HIV. “Stop judging people living with HIV; instead you must actively support them to adhere strictly to treatment,” said Fubara-Manuel.
Ayoko Bahun-Wilson, regional coordinator for the WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy West Africa office, said: “We can’t change the past or undo its wrenching pain. But what we can do—and what we have to do—is to chart a different future as religious leaders, guided by our love for those we couldn’t save. That allows us to do everything we can, everything in our power to save those that we can.”
Dr Gabriel Undelikwo from UNAIDS Nigeria said: “We are happy for the opportunity to strengthen our collaboration and partnership with the WCC to serve the communities and the rollout of the impactful training which also rekindles the interest of the faith community.”