Caritas Cambodia take part in a HIV vigil led by Buddhist monks
Seventy percent of the world’s people identify themselves as members of a faith community. Communities of faith play a very significant role in influencing people’s behaviour and attitudes, and in providing care and support for AIDS.
Religious communities, mosques, temples, churches, hospitals and clinics have reached out to provide support to those living with and affected by HIV. Their leadership has great influence in the lives of many people, and leaders speaking out responsibly about AIDS can make a powerful impact at both community and international level.
Many Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) are engaged in vigorous programmes of social service, development, humanitarian assistance, emotional support, and pastoral accompaniment. All these services have contributed greatly to the faith-based response to the pandemic and present yet untapped resources for even more intensive scaling up.
Caritas Internationalis is a member of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, a broad ecumenical network for international cooperation in advocacy on global trade and HIV and AIDS.
More than 100 churches and church-related organisations have joined the Alliance by committing themselves to "speak out with one voice against injustice, to confront structures of power, practices and attitudes which deprive human beings of dignity and to offer alternative visions based on the Gospel".
This commitment to joint action brings with it enormous strength and responsibility.
The Alliance has identified the HIV and AIDS pandemic as one of the gravest challenges to health and also to the prospects of social and economic development and global security.
The campaign, "Keep the Promise" holds individuals, religious leaders, faith organisations, governments and intergovernmental organisations accountable for the commitments they have made and advocates for further efforts and resources to fight HIV and AIDS. The campaign works to protect the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS, promote an attitude of care and solidarity which rejects all forms of stigmatisation and discrimination, and advocates for access to necessary forms of treatment as well as expand efforts for education and prevention.
FEATURES HIV and Aids: A Global Picture A Catholic Response Caritas AIDS response around the world Catholic Networking: Networking in South Africa and beyond Caritas networking around the world Faith-Based networking Caritas and the United Nations Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS for Caritas Internationalis Stigma and Exclusion Training resource for HIV and AIDS Bishop's Documents Resources from the Vatican