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IRIN PlusNews HIV/AIDS News and information service | Great Lakes | CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Church leaders trained on HIV/AIDS awareness | | News Items
Monday 27 February 2006
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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Church leaders trained on HIV/AIDS awareness

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


HIV/AIDS awareness campaign poster in Bangui

BANGUI, 30 April (PLUSNEWS) - Some 44 church leaders in the Central African Republic (CAR) completed on Thursday a four-day training course on HIV/AIDS awareness, organised by the Ecumenical Initiative on HIV in Africa and a local NGO.

A member of the Ecumenical Initiative, Rosalie Koudougueret-Malogba, told PlusNews on Thursday that the church leaders, representing 15 religious institutions, were trained on the different means of HIV/AIDS infection as well as means of protection against the scourge.

"Considering the increasing HIV rate in the Central African Republic, it is urgent to include HIV/AIDS in the training programme of schools of theology," Koudougueret-Malogba said.

She added that theology could not be taught in today's context without taking into account HIV/AIDS, which was killing thousands of people daily.

"Christian ethics must be taught and can help as prevention means" Koudougueret-Malogba said.

She said the Church must provide spiritual and psychological support to HIV positive people and those whose relatives had died from the disease.

"Most people turn to religion to seek support when they become aware of their HIV positive status, the church must care for such people," she said.

"We must develop a theology of compassion instead of one of stigmatisation" she said. "Church leaders must be informed and trained on how to play such an important role."

Josué Binoua, the representative of Ambassade Chretienne, which co-organised the workshop with the Ecumenical Initiative, said some church leaders still considered HIV/AIDS taboo and could mislead their followers.

"Schools and institutes of theology should train responsible pastors about HIV/AIDS," he said.

He added that although the Church was against the use of condoms, protection measures should be recommended where one party of a couple planning to marry was found to be HIV-positive and still wanted to go ahead with the marriage.

"But the efficient protection means against HIV/AIDS is fidelity and abstinence," he said.

The training course for the church leaders was held following recommendations made at another a conference organised by the Ecumenical Initiative in Yaounde, Cameroon, in February 2003. The conference had recommended that church and theological leaders be trained on ways and means of fighting HIV/AIDS.


The plight of rape victims endures,  19/Aug/05
US $25 million to treat HIV/AIDS,  24/Aug/04
NGO in HIV/AIDS sensitisation efforts,  14/Jun/04
Global fund approves HIV/AIDS project,  27/Apr/04
UN Volunteers funds NGO programme to sensitise Pygmies on HIV/AIDS,  23/Mar/04
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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