HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS isn’t just a health issue, it’s one of the biggest threats to development in today’s world.
More than two thirds of all people living with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa, and the number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has more than tripled since 2000.
For us, tackling the HIV and AIDS pandemic is a matter of justice. The world’s poorest people are the most at risk of infection, and even more at risk of not being able to access life-saving medical treatment and drugs if they do contract the virus.
CAFOD's work on HIV and AIDS
We believe that people living with HIV and AIDS have a right to treatment and care, but also to dignity and respect. That’s why we aim to:
- prevent the spread of HIV through education programmes about how HIV is transmitted, which help people identify how to reduce their risk
- tackle underlying problems such as poverty and gender inequalities, which can make people more vulnerable to infection
- care for those affected, not just by helping them access medication and a nutritious diet, but also through counselling, home-based care, training for work, and support for children left orphaned or otherwise affected
- campaign for changes to local, national and international policies and systems to ensure people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS have equal rights and dignity: fighting stigma and discrimination; ensuring access to treatment and legal rights
- join the international World AIDS Day campaign (each year on 1 December) to unite on this crucial issue - standing in solidarity with those affected by HIV and AIDS and demanding action and commitment from decision-makers to provide support and end stigma and discrimination for those affected.
HIV Stigma Reduction Initiative
People living with and affected by HIV by often face stigma and discrimination within their family, at work, and other public settings. Stigma is one of the key factors which undermines prevention, care and treatment efforts, and addressing this is essential. In many communities faith leaders are well-positioned to break the silence about HIV and AIDS, creating all-inclusive communities. In 2013 we implemented our very successful Stigma Reduction Initiative (SRI) which supports faith leaders in Kenya, Zambia and Ethiopia to overcome stigma and discrimination in their communities.