Malawi Network of Religious leaders living with or personally affected by HIV and AIDS (MANERELA+) WITH SUPPORT FROM PEPFAR through the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) and the Centre for Disease Control Program (CDC) is among the consortium members implementing a Faith and Community Initiative (FCI) aimed at “Strengthening the Delivery, Coordination and Monitoring of HIV services in Malawi through Faith Based Institutions”.
The initiative is being implemented in 5 PEPFAR priority districts of Blantyre, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Thyolo and Mzimba in collaboration with 4 partners which are the National AIDS Commission, MIAA, BT Synod and CHAM. In this project MANERELA+ is focusing on faith healing and stigma as well as linkage and retention to care which is under objective “Decrease stigma and non-adherence related to faith healing”. The project is targeting religious leaders and their congregants (PLHIV) in all churches and mosques. In total 400 religious leaders have been trained on SAVE Model to implement voices against stigma in places of worship and surrounding communities in the 5 targeted districts. The Religious leaders have managed to reach 3892 in 5 districts with voices against stigma. Out of these 1716 males whilst 2176 females. The training has helped religious leaders and their congregants to go for HIV testing and be open about their HIV status to congregants.