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19 November 2012

Churches encouraged to increase Aids awareness

Churches encouraged to increase Aids awareness

Christian charity ACET International is calling on churches to find ways to mark World Aids Day on 1 December.

ACET (Aids Care Education and Training) International, an Alliance member, works for Aids prevention in 23 countries.

They work in partnership with local Christians to work with those already infected and try to prevent further infection by educating those most at risk.

Peter Fabian, ACET's chief executive, said: "HIV and AIDS have largely been forgotten in the UK. And yet we have 100,000 people living with HIV in this country, and 33 million worldwide.

"Regardless of how those people came to be infected, as Christians, I believe we need to show them God's love and acceptance.

"Jesus never turned his back on those that society rejected, and neither should we."

World Aids Day, which takes place on 1 December, is an opportunity for churches to remember those who have to face the stigma often attached to living with HIV.

ACET have produced a resource pack that contains ideas which can be used in a Sunday service.

They suggest that churches could do things like have a focus on HIV during the service, hand out copies of ACET's Saving Grace brochure, do a collection for ACET, pledge to become a church partner or encourage church members to join ACET's facebook page.

Mr Fabian added: "This World Aids Day, I challenge Christians to help raise the profile of HIV and AIDS: Take a moment to highlight HIV/AIDS in a church service.

"Support projects that offer practical help for those living with HIV, or help prevent its spread.

"And make your church a safe haven for people living with HIV in your own community – a place where they can come and experience God's love, not human rejection."

Image by Endre Vestvik