Resources for Faith Communities
All over the world, leaders of faith communities are being asked to educate their congregations and communities about HIV. To do this inevitably challenges people to look at our own prejudices, morality, fear and judgment. Increasingly, however, in the HIV "hot-spots", faith communities are responding. To often, however, the makeup of the faith leadership tables does not reflect the entire global community; usually it is a gathering that remains along the divided lines of society (economic, racial, cultural). Until we can break through these barriers and embrace that we truly are one global community, we will continue to miss the mark. One of the limitations has been that funding to truly promote community-wide testing and education campaigns has been that the funding for both testing and education gets tied up in "high-risk" targeting which serves to perpetuate the stigma and often perpetuate fear.
This is slowly starting to change. St. Paul Lutheran/Wheaton, IL; Saddleback Church/CA; Christ Lutheran/DC. These are some fo the churches we have gotten to know who have stepped up in big ways. With the coming approval of home-based self-testing, this can be rapidly expanded upon when limited government policies on testing will no longer be the final say in who can get tested.
In preparation for that day, it is important for faith communities to start considering now how they can promote and even organize HIV-testing. Given that discussion of HIV can be uncomfortable, this space will have a growing list of resources to help promote conversation and education in the congregation. If you have additional information or resources, please feel free to share them and we will put a link here.
UCC Affirming Persons Saving Lives Curriculum On this site, there is a free pdf download of the curriculum, as well as a list of other resources.
Best Practice for Faith Communities A list of recommendations adopted from a Lutheran effort in Africa; sound recommendation for all people.