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Religious leaders urged to back HIV fight

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th February 2010 03:00 AM

Religious leaders have been urged to include HIV prevention strategies in their programmes.

Religious leaders have been urged to include HIV prevention strategies in their programmes.

By Ronnie Kijjambu

Religious leaders have been urged to include HIV prevention strategies in their programmes.

Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli, the Uganda AIDS Commission boss, said religious leaders were key partners in the fight against HIV because they have the power to convince the congregation.

“It is time we involve religious leaders who were not optimally involved in the national response to HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Apuuli made the call recently at a meeting of religious leaders at the Inter religious Council of Uganda offices in Namirembe, Kampala.

He explained that factors fuelling the HIV spread include the social-cultural norms related to marriage, poverty and wealth and the lack of access to prevention, care and treatment.
Apuuli said HIV infection rates were higher among married people, especially in the urban areas.

He added that those involved in multiple sexual relationships were also increasing the risk of contracting HIV. The religious leaders expressed concern about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV.
“If not for economic purposes, why do you advocate for the use of condoms that are not safe in preventing a disease which has no cure?” Archbishop of Kampala Diocese Cyprian Lwanga Kizito asked.

Present were the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop Yonah Lwanga and Sheikh Mukiibi Kinene, the deputy Mufti of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.

Religious leaders urged to back HIV fight

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