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Call to end stigma marks the World AIDS Day in Africa

Posted on: December 2, 2003 2:27 PM
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[ACNS source: Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa] As the world turned to mark the World AIDS Day yesterday (December 1), Anglicans around Africa joined the world to spread the word on AIDS and call for an end to stigma and discrimination of people affected by HIV/AIDS.

In Kenya, a national week of prayers for people living with HIV/AIDS was concluded yesterday with the launch of a liturgy that will be used by the 29 dioceses to regularly pray and support those affected.

Anglican Church of Kenya Provincial Secretary, Rt Revd William Waqo said the church had in the past “joined the bandwagon of condemning people infected by AIDS” but said the situation was now being reversed.

He said the new liturgy had grown out of the concern raised by the church leadership on the need to promote hope amidst the pain and despair of AIDS.

In Bungoma Diocese, Kenya, Bishop Eliud Wabukala flagged off a procession through the streets of Bungoma town to sensitize people on the disease.

In Ghana, Province of West Africa, Christians visited and prayed for those infected by affected AIDS. National prayers were also made in conjunction with the Christian Council of Ghana.

Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) General Secretary, the Revd Canon John Kanyikwa commended efforts that Provinces in Africa have made towards addressing HIV/AIDS in their communities and pledged that the secretariat would continue to offer support.

HIV/AIDS is devastating families, communities and economies in Africa with an estimated 27 million people living with the virus in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. This is more than the rest of the world put together.