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Church and community involvement

Within your church

  • Organize an HIV and AIDS awareness focus for your congregation or parish during a Sunday service. This may include having special speakers to address relevant topics.
  • Host Bible studies and/or educational seminars about HIV and AIDS in your congregation, targeting specific age groups and single sex groups.
  • Have a set time during the week when the Pastor and/or trained counselors are available for confidential counseling to anyone affected or infected by HIV and AIDS.
  • Have educational and informational posters displayed in your church.
  • Make information available in your church detailing where people can access 'harm reduction' programs (see below for better description of this) and/or free local testing if the church does not already offer these services.

Work with your local community

  • Encourage congregation and community members to go for voluntary counseling and testing so they can know their status and know how to live positively or remain negative.
  • Sponsor a voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) centre at your church facilities. Make sure the service is well advertised in your community and that community members know and believe that the service is confidential.
  • If you are a church leader, why not be tested publicly? Church leaders are often respected within a community and acts like public testing can have a big impact in combating stigma and discrimination.
  • Organize community events focused on HIV and AIDS awareness such as concerts, drama productions, health fairs, fun runs or football games, or coffee mornings.
  • Order HIV and AIDS educational materials from your local AIDS education, information and training centre. Display these materials in your church or in a relevant location accessed by the community.
  • Sponsor training for congregation and community members in counseling, home-based care, and basic HIV and AIDS education. This invests in the community as these people can go on to train others in what they have learnt.