Almost half (47%) of all people diagnosed with HIV in the UK are from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic community, and further 20% are not aware they have been infected. With this statistic it is more than likely that someone in your congregation has HIV – and may not know it.
Despite the challenges of living with HIV – it is better to know your status than not to know it. With early diagnosis proper support and care, people with HIV can and do lead healthy and full lives.
Many people who have HIV face stigmatization, and live in fear of being rejected by their community.
As a faith leader you are in a powerful position to support a vulnerable person facing difficult challenges. Testing Faith will help you do address their needs confidently.
Will you sign up for this and be the support your vulnerable community members need? When we consider the scriptural basis for being compassionate, it provides a compelling basis for supporting people with HIV. In the Qu’ran we find the injuction that
“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfil their promise when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and afflictions and the steadfast in time of war; it is these who have proved truthful and it is these who are the God-fearing. (Al Quran 2:178)
In the Bible, Colossians 3:12-13 reads, Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.