A Revolution against Stigma! What Works to End HIV-related Stigma NOW!

INERELA+Kenya  was one of faith based organization that participated in the international AIDS conference 2016 held at Durban South Africa on 18th-22nd 2016 .This workshop was designed to share information about effective anti-stigma interventions and to allow participants the opportunity to work with global experts in different fields to develop an anti-stigma programme.

The interventions  highlighted focused on creating stigma-free health care settings, developing leadership and advocacy by people living with HIV, reducing internal or self-stigma among people living with HIV, ensuring equity in care for key populations, faith leaders building stigma free faith communities, and providing necessary psycho social and mental health care for young people living with HIV.The International AIDS Conference provided extensive opportunities for sharing and networking across all levels of care and response to the epidemic. Among the organization that showcased their responses to this forum included;

Jane Ng’ang’a, International Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV & AIDS (INERELA+)Kenya gave an all-inclusive overview of how INERELA+KENYA has  Used the Framework for Dialogue Programme to Reduce HIV Stigma in Faith Settings. Through this program it’s notable that using the faith based lens analysis, Stigma and discrimination continues to be faced by PLHIV within the faith communities. Addressing internal stigma experienced by PLHIV is an area where faith communities and religious leaders can offer unique support and enable positive change.

Kenya Dialogue Joint Actions Focus

INERELA+KENYA has used the priorities below to steer the framework for dialogue and through this stigma has been mitigated. The key priorities include;

  • Break the Silence about HIV Stigma
  • Facilitate dialogue at different levels within faith based institutions
  • Spearhead Joint Advocacy Efforts for Safer and Healthier Living
  • Change how religious leaders and People Living with HIV relate.

Post Dialogue Review

Inerela+Kenya has used the framework for dialogue and outstanding post dialogue reviews have been eminent and hence there is need for advocating on them. Some of the imperative issues noted include;

  • Creation of safe spaces and avenues for PLHIV to participate in faith activities and decision-making.
  • Congregational responses focused on support groups formation & support and pastoral home visits have increased
  • Language of religious leaders changed to non-judgmental, non-stigmatizing and respects human dignity.
  • Some religious leaders appreciation of need for age appropriate sexuality education within faith congregations.
  • Development of standard stigma free HIV messages underway
  • Mainstreaming of HIV messages in sermons and other faith related events happening.
  • Religious leaders are working closely with PLHIV at county and national levels to ensure access to quality services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *