Statement from our Patron, His Grace, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Facing one of the biggest challenges either the world or faith communities have faced demands a unique approach. HIV is running away with us because we have tried all the old responses to something that exposes our weaknesses rather than our strength. The only long term approach to HIV interventions that can be effective is working with rather than for people living with HIV today.
We have to turn off the tap on new infections. Current monies pledged to HIV interventions cannot provide all the services we need today, let alone contain the spread of HIV. Judgmental attitudes from faith communities in regards to HIV and HIV transmission serves only to drive people living with HIV further into the margins where services become difficult to access, and the pandemic is driven underground. I support strongly the 50 by 15 campaign (50% reduction in HIV transmission by 2015), but to achieve it bold new partnerships and approaches will be needed.
Targeted prevention like abstinence only will never be as effective as an holistic approach like INERELA+’s SAVE strategy. (Safer practices, Available medical intervention, Vct and Empowerment)I believe a network like INERELA+, religious leaders living with HIV and working from that experience, is uniquely placed to make a meaningful difference through a more holistic approach to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support – faith leaders living with HIV controlling HIV in their own lives and their communities.