Friday, 16 October 2015

Raise your voice against stigma and homophobia

Speaking out against prejudice is a vital step towards changing community attitudes that stigmatise people with HIV and people who are at greater risk of contracting HIV.
When people raise their voices against stigma, it makes it easier for people who have HIV, who are gay, who use drugs, or are sex workers, to access the information, prevention tools, and treatments and care that they need to stay safe and well. Faith leaders play a critical role in the response to HIV through model compassion and supporting evidence-based approaches to HIV prevention and care.

In July 2015, AFAO’s African Reference Group[i] hosted a one day national meeting for faith leaders connected to African communities.
The agenda included a strong focus on stigma and homophobia. People living with HIV and a gay man from African backgrounds spoke out about their experience of stigma and the role of faith in their lives – or their loss of faith as a result of discrimination from their faith communities.

In this post, AFAO’s contribution to the Blog Action Day campaign ‘Raise your Voice’, we asked participants why it’s important for faith leaders to raise their voices about HIV-related stigma and homophobia.

Imam Nur Warsame


Imam Nur Warsame is 3rd from left.

Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and speak out about HIV-related stigma and discrimination?
It is important because faith leaders represent the communities they service and their words have weight. They cannot be stuck in old ways and have to relate to the current environment. HIV-related stigma and discrimination, or any type of discrimination, is unacceptable in Islam and it can be eliminated if faith leaders have the courage to take a stand on such a principle. 

Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and challenge homophobia?
They have the power to challenge homophobia from a leadership perspective. Homophobia and trans-phobia has unfortunately existed in Muslim communities for a long time, and faith leaders can take a more inclusive and accepting role as Islam preaches. Faith leaders have the opportunity and privilege to make these changes on a large scale.

How did AFAO’s National Faith Leaders Meeting support you to raise your voice about these issues?
We connected with others who are on the same page and established future networks for positive change, however it was sad to only see one Imam present. Nevertheless, it was a step in the right direction and I commend AFAO for organising such a productive event.

Aynalem Tessema

Emmanuel Evangelical Church
Senior Settlement Services Worker, Auburn Diversity Services

Aynalem Tessema (right) with Menelik Haylemariam,
an Ethiopian  church leader.
Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and speak out about HIV-related stigma and discrimination?
Faith leaders have got respect and trust from their community. They are influential people, they have life experience, and wisdom, they know the culture and values and beliefs of their community. They can explain things and people accept what they say.

Stigma can cause people to have mental health problems, if no-one talks about these things. Some cultures don’t want to talk about HIV, they think of it as a punishment, so it’s important for faith leaders to reach out educate people and pass on the message that there is a lot of support for people with HIV.

Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and challenge homophobia?
Everyone has a choice to do what they want. Our culture is different, but we need to understand each other. Education and understanding about how other people live is very important.

How did AFAO’s National Faith Leaders Meeting support you to raise your voice about these issues?
It was very helpful. I learned a lot of things, especially from those affected by HIV [the positive speakers]. They stood up and talked, this was a great thing for the community, especially the woman who spoke.  It’s very hard for a person to do that, but when she stands and speaks out, she saves the next generation.

Some people with HIV don’t speak about it and they are hiding and dying, so she was amazing, I thought ‘the chains are breaking’. It was very hopeful. A lot of people at the meeting learned from that, it was a really good life story.

Callixte Hakizimana

Free Pentecostal Church of Australia Inc (QLD)

Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and speak out about HIV-related stigma and discrimination?
It is very important for the faith leader to raise their voice in regards to these issues because faith leaders are trusted people in the community and provide various advice on how to live physically and spiritually. However they may have people in their congregation who are being victimised by HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and challenge homophobia?
Faith leaders must raise their voice in homophobia matters to avoid the loss of members of the faith community. Abide with the human rights laws and protect community members who may have these issues, and introduce them to the service providers who can address their issues.



Beth Chigwada

Evangelical Christian
Sharing Stories Coordinator, Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre (WA)

Beth Chigwada, second from left.
Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and speak out about HIV-related stigma and discrimination?
There is no place for stigma and discrimination in true Christianity because the foundation of the Christian faith is Jesus who extends unconditional and redeeming love to all people and to all nations. Last time I checked that included people living with HIV.

Why is it important for faith leaders to raise their voice and challenge homophobia?
 “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Rick Warren (American evangelical Christian pastor and author). 

We are all made by God, in His image, with great inherent value. As Christians, we believe we have received undeserving grace from our LORD not by our efforts but through Christ alone. Let us shape our responses to people based on these truths.

How did AFAO’s National Faith Leaders Meeting support you to raise your voice about these issues?
The meeting provided opportunities to hear and learn from various faith leaders and sector experts as well as those living with HIV. In my personal experience, Christian leaders have demonstrated tremendous amounts of love and grace to marginalised people. However, I believe it was important to listen to people who have experienced homophobia or stigma from the church. It was important to listen, to acknowledge and to apologise. This worked as a good example and springboard for our Western Australia state initiatives.


See photos from the faith leaders meeting here


[i] AFAO’s African Reference Group was established in 2010 to assist with organising the first National African Forum on HIV in May 2011. The group advises AFAO on policy and health promotion issues related to African Australian communities. It is composed of representatives of African communities and HIV and multicultural health service providers in ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, Vic and WA.

13 comments:

  1. Praise be to God for the great work that Dr MABUWA has been performing in the lives of so many that are sick. if you are sick and you are reading this article, please don't hesitate to contact this great Dr MABUWA. because Dr MABUWA is a God sent to the world. I was sick for 16years of HIV AIDS And TYPE 2 DIABETES DISEASE. And i have been going from one place to another for help. until i contacted Dr MABUWA. who sent me his Wonderful herbal Med. and After 7days of drinking it. i was tested negative. Contact his What app Number or Call:+2348130714541 Or Email: drmabuwasolutioncuretemple@gmail.com or visit: https://drmabuwasolutioncuretemple.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God bless Dr. ozman for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HIV since 2010 and I was taking my medications, I wasn’t satisfied i needed to get the HIV. out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for HIV i saw a comment about Dr. ozman, how he cured HIV with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 8 days later i was cured from HIV,thank you dr.ozmanspellhome@gmail.com Dr ozman ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU SIR contact him whatsapp number +2349061515609
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      Delete
    2. Having Herpes is a Terrible Experience and my Experience will help some hsv patients beware of Herbs from online doc.
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      was out casted and rejected even by my closet friends.
      i searched on-line to know and enquirer about cure for HERPES and i read
      someone testimony on how he was cured from HSV-2 so i decided to contact
      the same herbalist Call Dr Edidia because i know that nature has the power
      to heal everything.
      i contacted him to know how he can help me and he told me never to worry
      that he will help me with the natural herbs from God!
      after 2 days of contacting him, he told me that the cure has been ready and
      he sent it to me via UPS SPEED POST and it got to me after 3 days!
      i used the medicine as he instructed me (MORNING and EVENING) and i was
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      or whatsapp +2349074505296
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      and also his facebook page
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      Delete

    3. Its a pleasure for me to write this testimony about this wonderful thing
      that happened to me last week on how i got my HIV aids cured, i have been
      reading so-many post of some people who were cured of HIV, but i never
      believed them, I was hurt and depressed so I was too curious and wanted to
      try dr.idedia then i contacted him on his email on
      dr.idediatraditionalhealinghome@gmail.com when i contact him, he assured me 100% that he will heal me, i pleaded with him to help me out, its a great success that he healed just as he promised, he
      told me that in three days time that i should go and check on my HIV
      status, I was floored that when i went to the hospital to check of my
      status that i was HIV negative, i never thought possible that dr. idedia
      can do miracles, i never really believed in magic but I played along with a
      little hope and faith and after everything but dr Idedia changed my
      life and made me a true believer you can contact him on
      dr.idediatraditionalhealinghome@gmail.com or whattsapp Number: +2349074505296
      or visit his blog http://dridediatraditionalhealinghome.blogspot.com
      so he can help you out. he said that he is also specialize on the following diseases: HERPES, HIV, ALS, HPV, DIABETES, HEPATITIS B, CANCER,SICKLE CELL, VIRGINAL DRYNESS, And Bring Back Yours Ex back.

      Delete
    4. It's indeed a miracle I can't believe am finally free from herpes virus, am grateful to this powerful herbalist called Dr Perfect.
      I'm Chris Anderson from UK I was sick of herpes for 3 years it affected my relationship with my girlfriend when she find out I was having herpes she left me, I missed her so much because I loved her with all my heart and she always makes me happy she was the source of my happiness I wanted her to come back to me, so I took every treatment and drugs but none could cure my sickness I never lose hope because I believe I will surely get cured and be reunited with my girlfriend again so I went online to search for herpes cure and I came across a comment of a man on how this powerful herbalist cured him of herpes, I didn't hesitate I emailed him and explained my problem to him on how this herpes has affected my relationship he replied my mail and he asked for some information which I gave him and he prepared a herbal cure when he finished preparing the cure he sent it to me and instructed me on how to use it and I did it as I was instructed, five days later I couldn't find any sign of herpes that's was how I was free from herpes virus and he also did a love spell that brought back my ex girlfriend, this was the best thing that have ever happened to me am indeed grateful to Dr Perfect for the help he has rendered to me if you need help to cure your diseases or bring back your ex contact him and get your problems solved at solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com
      You can also add him up on WhatsApp +12562513614

      He can also cure the following diseases
      1. Herpes virus
      2. Chronic venous disease
      3. Gonorrhoea
      4. Hiv/aids
      5. Alzheimers disease
      6. Asepsis
      7. Cancer
      8. Cerebrospinal meingtitis
      9. Infertility problems
      10. Als/ebv
      11. Hpv
      12. Enlargement of any type
      13. Getting back ex lover/divorce
      14. Hepatitis a,b,c
      15. Syphilis
      16. Arthritis
      17. Severe atopic dermatitis
      18. Leukaemia/lupus virus and many more....




      It's indeed a miracle I can't believe am finally free from herpes virus, am grateful to this powerful herbalist called Dr Perfect.
      I'm Chris Anderson from UK I was sick of herpes for 3 years it affected my relationship with my girlfriend when she find out I was having herpes she left me, I missed her so much because I loved her with all my heart and she always makes me happy she was the source of my happiness I wanted her to come back to me, so I took every treatment and drugs but none could cure my sickness I never lose hope because I believe I will surely get cured and be reunited with my girlfriend again so I went online to search for herpes cure and I came across a comment of a man on how this powerful herbalist cured him of herpes, I didn't hesitate I emailed him and explained my problem to him on how this herpes has affected my relationship he replied my mail and he asked for some information which I gave him and he prepared a herbal cure when he finished preparing the cure he sent it to me and instructed me on how to use it and I did it as I was instructed, five days later I couldn't find any sign of herpes that's was how I was free from herpes virus and he also did a love spell that brought back my ex girlfriend, this was the best thing that have ever happened to me am indeed grateful to Dr Perfect for the help he has rendered to me if you need help to cure your diseases or bring back your ex contact him and get your problems solved at solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com
      You can also add him up on WhatsApp +12562513614

      He can also cure the following diseases
      1. Herpes virus
      2. Chronic venous disease
      3. Gonorrhoea
      4. Hiv/aids
      5. Alzheimers disease
      6. Asepsis
      7. Cancer
      8. Cerebrospinal meingtitis
      9. Infertility problems
      10. Als/ebv
      11. Hpv
      12. Enlargement of any type
      13. Getting back ex lover/divorce
      14. Hepatitis a,b,c
      15. Syphilis
      16. Arthritis
      17. Severe atopic dermatitis
      18. Leukaemia/lupus virus and many more....

      Delete
  2. Praise be to God for the great work that Dr MABUWA has been performing in the lives of so many that are sick. if you are sick and you are reading this article, please don't hesitate to contact this great Dr MABUWA. because Dr MABUWA is a God sent to the world. I was sick for 16years of HIV AIDS And TYPE 2 DIABETES DISEASE. And i have been going from one place to another for help. until i contacted Dr MABUWA. who sent me his Wonderful herbal Med. and After 7days of drinking it. i was tested negative. Contact his What app Number or Call:+2348130714541 Or Email: drmabuwasolutioncuretemple@gmail.com or visit: https://drmabuwasolutioncuretemple.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. My life is beautiful thanks to you, Mein Helfer. Lord Jesus in my life as a candle light in the darkness. You showed me the meaning of faith with your words. I know that even when I cried all day thinking about how to recover, you were not sleeping, you were dear to me. I contacted the herbal center Dr Itua, who lived in West Africa. A friend of mine here in Hamburg is also from Africa. She told me about African herbs but I was nervous. I am very afraid when it comes to Africa because I heard many terrible things about them because of my Christianity. god for direction, take a bold step and get in touch with him in the email and then move to WhatsApp, he asked me if I can come for treatment or I want a delivery, I told him I wanted to know him I buy ticket in 2 ways to Africa To meet Dr. Itua, I went there and I was speechless from the people I saw there. Patent, sick people. Itua is a god sent to the world, I told my pastor about what I am doing, Pastor Bill Scheer. We have a real battle beautifully with Spirit and Flesh. Adoration that same night. He prayed for me and asked me to lead. I spent 2 weeks and 2 days in Africa at Dr Itua Herbal Home. After the treatment, he asked me to meet his nurse for the HIV test when I did it. It was negative, I asked my friend to take me to another nearby hospital when I arrived, it was negative. I was overwhite with the result, but happy inside of me. We went with Dr. Itua, I thank him but I explain that I do not have enough to show him my appreciation, that he understands my situation, but I promise that he will testify about his good work. Thank God for my dear friend, Emma, ​​I know I could be reading this now, I want to thank you. And many thanks to Dr. Itua Herbal Center. He gave me his calendar that I put on my wall in my house. Dr. Itua can also cure the following diseases ... Cancer, HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Inflammatory Liver, Diabetis, Fribroid, recover your ex. You can contact him by email or whatsapp, @ .. drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com, phone number .. + 2348149277967 .. He is a good doctor, talk to him kindly. I'm sure he will also listen to you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My life is beautiful thanks to you, Mein Helfer. Lord Jesus in my life as a candle light in the darkness. You showed me the meaning of faith with your words. I know that even when I cried all day thinking about how to recover, you were not sleeping, you were dear to me. I contacted the herbal center Dr Itua, who lived in West Africa. A friend of mine here in Hamburg is also from Africa. She told me about African herbs but I was nervous. I am very afraid when it comes to Africa because I heard many terrible things about them because of my Christianity. god for direction, take a bold step and get in touch with him in the email and then move to WhatsApp, he asked me if I can come for treatment or I want a delivery, I told him I wanted to know him I buy ticket in 2 ways to Africa To meet Dr. Itua, I went there and I was speechless from the people I saw there. Patent, sick people. Itua is a god sent to the world, I told my pastor about what I am doing, Pastor Bill Scheer. We have a real battle beautifully with Spirit and Flesh. Adoration that same night. He prayed for me and asked me to lead. I spent 2 weeks and 2 days in Africa at Dr Itua Herbal Home. After the treatment, he asked me to meet his nurse for the HIV test when I did it. It was negative, I asked my friend to take me to another nearby hospital when I arrived, it was negative. I was overwhite with the result, but happy inside of me. We went with Dr. Itua, I thank him but I explain that I do not have enough to show him my appreciation, that he understands my situation, but I promise that he will testify about his good work. Thank God for my dear friend, Emma, I know I could be reading this now, I want to thank you. And many thanks to Dr. Itua Herbal Center. He gave me his calendar that I put on my wall in my house. Dr. Itua can also cure the following diseases ... Cancer, HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Inflammatory Liver, Diabetis, Fribroid,Parkinson's disease,Inflammatory bowel disease ,Fibromyalgia, recover your ex. You can contact him by email or whatsapp, @ .. drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com, phone number .. + 2348149277967 .. He is a good doctor, talk to him kindly. I'm sure he will also listen to you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dr Itua cure my HIV, I have been a ARV Consumption for 10 years. i have been in pains until i came across Dr Itua on blogs site.I emailed him about my details of my HIV and my location i explained every thing to him and he told me that there is nothing to be scared of that he will cured me, he gave me guarantee,He ask me to pay for items fees so when i'm cured I will show gratitude I did and giving testimony of his healing herbs is what I'm going to do for the rest of you out there having HIV and other disease can see the good work of Dr Itua.I received his herbal medicine through EMS Courier service who delivered to my post office within 5 working days.Dr Itua is an honest man and I appreciate him for his good work.My GrandMa called him to appreciate him and rest of my friends did too,Is a joy to me that I'm free of taking Pills and having that fat belle is a nightmare.you will understand what i'm talking about if you have same problem I was having then not now though.I'm free and healthy Big Thanks To Dr Itua Herbal Center.I have his calendar too that he recently sent me,He Cure all kind disease Like,Cancer,Herpes,Hiv,Hepatitis B,Fibroid,Diabetes,Dercum,Copd ,and also Bring back Ex Lover Back..Here his Contact .drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com Or Whats_app Number +2348149277967

    ReplyDelete
  6. i am really happy that i have been cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) with
    the herbal medicine of Dr Oduwa, i have been suffering from this disease
    for the past 2 years and 7 mouth without solution until i came across the
    email of this doctor who have cure so many people with his herbal medicine,
    i also choose to give him a chance to help me and my husband, he told me
    what to do and i kindly did it, and he gave us his herbal medicine and
    direct me on how to use it, i also follow his instructions for use and he
    ask us to go for a check up after 1 week and 4days which i did, to my
    greatest surprise our result came out as negative, we are really happy that
    there is someone like this doctor who is ready to help anytime any day. To
    all the readers and viewers that is doubting this testimony should stop doubting
    it and contact this doctor if you really have one and see if he will not
    actually help you. i am not a stupid woman that i will come out to the
    public and start saying what someone have not done for me and i know that
    there are some people out there who are really suffering and hurting their
    family just because of these diseases so you can email him on
    (droduwaspellhome01@gmail.com)
    or you can also whatsapp him on +2348136354191
    he also told me that he has cure all these diseases listed below
    . HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS.
    .ALS
    . CANCER
    .HEPATITIS
    .HIV/AIDS
    HSV
    Thank you for your time bye

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's indeed a miracle I can't believe am finally free from herpes virus, am grateful to this powerful herbalist called Dr Perfect.
    I'm Chris Anderson from UK I was sick of herpes for 3 years it affected my relationship with my girlfriend when she find out I was having herpes she left me, I missed her so much because I loved her with all my heart and she always makes me happy she was the source of my happiness I wanted her to come back to me, so I took every treatment and drugs but none could cure my sickness I never lose hope because I believe I will surely get cured and be reunited with my girlfriend again so I went online to search for herpes cure and I came across a comment of a man on how this powerful herbalist cured him of herpes, I didn't hesitate I emailed him and explained my problem to him on how this herpes has affected my relationship he replied my mail and he asked for some information which I gave him and he prepared a herbal cure when he finished preparing the cure he sent it to me and instructed me on how to use it and I did it as I was instructed, five days later I couldn't find any sign of herpes that's was how I was free from herpes virus and he also did a love spell that brought back my ex girlfriend, this was the best thing that have ever happened to me am indeed grateful to Dr Perfect for the help he has rendered to me if you need help to cure your diseases or bring back your ex contact him and get your problems solved at solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com
    You can also add him up on WhatsApp +12562513614

    He can also cure the following diseases
    1. Herpes virus
    2. Chronic venous disease
    3. Gonorrhoea
    4. Hiv/aids
    5. Alzheimers disease
    6. Asepsis
    7. Cancer
    8. Cerebrospinal meingtitis
    9. Infertility problems
    10. Als/ebv
    11. Hpv
    12. Enlargement of any type
    13. Getting back ex lover/divorce
    14. Hepatitis a,b,c
    15. Syphilis
    16. Arthritis
    17. Severe atopic dermatitis
    18. Leukaemia/lupus virus and many more....

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's indeed a miracle I can't believe am finally free from herpes virus, am grateful to this powerful herbalist called Dr Perfect.
    I'm Chris Anderson from UK I was sick of herpes for 3 years it affected my relationship with my girlfriend when she find out I was having herpes she left me, I missed her so much because I loved her with all my heart and she always makes me happy she was the source of my happiness I wanted her to come back to me, so I took every treatment and drugs but none could cure my sickness I never lose hope because I believe I will surely get cured and be reunited with my girlfriend again so I went online to search for herpes cure and I came across a comment of a man on how this powerful herbalist cured him of herpes, I didn't hesitate I emailed him and explained my problem to him on how this herpes has affected my relationship he replied my mail and he asked for some information which I gave him and he prepared a herbal cure when he finished preparing the cure he sent it to me and instructed me on how to use it and I did it as I was instructed, five days later I couldn't find any sign of herpes that's was how I was free from herpes virus and he also did a love spell that brought back my ex girlfriend, this was the best thing that have ever happened to me am indeed grateful to Dr Perfect for the help he has rendered to me if you need help to cure your diseases or bring back your ex contact him and get your problems solved at solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com
    You can also add him up on WhatsApp +12562513614

    He can also cure the following diseases
    1. Herpes virus
    2. Chronic venous disease
    3. Gonorrhoea
    4. Hiv/aids
    5. Alzheimers disease
    6. Asepsis
    7. Cancer
    8. Cerebrospinal meingtitis
    9. Infertility problems
    10. Als/ebv
    11. Hpv
    12. Enlargement of any type
    13. Getting back ex lover/divorce
    14. Hepatitis a,b,c
    15. Syphilis
    16. Arthritis
    17. Severe atopic dermatitis
    18. Leukaemia/lupus virus and many more....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello everyone, I am here to share a testimony on how my HIV was cure by a herbal doctor with the help of herbal medicine and herbal soap, As we all know medically, there is no solution or cure for HIV and the cost for Medication is very expensive. Someone introduced me to a man (Native Medical Practitioner) I showed the man all my Tests and Results and I told him i have already diagnosed with HIV and have spent thousands of Money on medication. I said I will like to try him cause someone introduced me to him. He asked me sorts of questions and I answered him correctly. To cut the story short, He gave me some medicinal soaps and some herbs and he thought me how am going to use them all. At first I was skeptical but I just gave it a try. I was on his Medication for 2 weeks and I used all the soaps and herbs according to his prescription. That he will finish the rest himself. And I called him 3 days after, I arrived and I told him what is the next thing he said, he has been expecting my call. He told me to visit my doctor for another test. Honestly speaking, i never believe all he was saying until after the test when my doctor mention the statement that am, HIV negative and the doctor started asking me how come about the cure, And I make a promise to Dr. ovoko that if I’m heal I will testify his good work in my life, if there is anyone out there who may need the help of Dr ovoko you can call him or WhatsApp him on:+2347063915230 or via him email Drovokospelltemple77@gmail.com THANK YOU FOR READING

    ReplyDelete