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Archbishop of Canterbury addresses HIV/AIDS (video)
Archbishop of Canterbury addresses HIV/AIDS (video)
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said that churches need to be brave, imaginative and honest in the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS.

In a message for World AIDS Day, issued for the first time as a video available on the internet, Dr Williams said churches are actively engaged in the global response to HIV and described as "a scandal" the limited access to drugs and treatment in deprived parts of the world.

"It is important that we do not allow ourselves to be paralyzed by this challenge; people do not have to die - drugs and treatment are available - the scandal is that access is so often limited and it is hard to see where justice lies in the way resources are sometimes distributed."

Governments, he said, needed to be challenged to work effectively with faith-based organizations and he praised projects being run in Africa and elsewhere in which organizations like Tearfund and Christian Aid are using the churches' capacity to raise awareness, challenge stigma, promote education and deliver care to those affected by HIV.

But he also called for the church to be honest about its own failures in language and practice in relation to HIV, saying there was no room for complacency:

"The churches have not always challenged as they should the stigma that is attached to HIV and AIDS in many countries. They have failed to say that those living with HIV and AIDS are God's beloved children, with dignity, liberty and freedom. What is owed to them is what is owed to any human being made in God's image, and the more we are trapped by thoughts and images about stigma, the less we shall be able to respond effectively."

Courtesy of ACNSlist. Further information about the work of Tearfund with the global church can be found at: www.tearfund.org. The video can be seen on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMKHUSyyf94

 

The Archbishop's Message


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