The World YWCA, World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with and Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA +) have joined efforts to develop a three day consultation, with participants including young people, faith leaders/actors, UNAIDS, National AIDS Council, among other stakeholders.
The consultations were a national interfaith initiative in Nairobi, Kenya and Lusaka, Zambia, with the purpose of strengthening faith response among communities, as key to the scale up to achieve the ambitious 90-90-90 targets and the PEPFAR 3.0 goals, making sure no one in need of treatment to HIV is left behind.
Both consultations focused in reviewing participant’s engagement in response to HIV in their countries and identifying opportunities for collaboration and synergy with national partners.
Statistics have that shown that the majority of new infections are young women and girls from the age of 10 – 24 years old. This makes intervention to these particular vulnerable groups critical in order to accelerate the HIV/ AIDS response.
National YWCAs of Kenya and Zambia showcased the Safe Space Model and opened intergenerational dialogues with different religious leaders, on the main issues that impact young people on SRHR and HIV, especially stigma and discrimination.
Following the national consultations, the World YWCA will facilitate a number of district level workshops with the mentioned national associations, to bring together the faith leaders and engage with adolescents and young people on the subject of sex and sexuality, stigma and discrimination in relation to HIV and AIDS, and Sexual-Gender-Based-Violence (SGBV).
This first phase of the initiative will contribute to collect, analyze and disseminate data on health care services provided by faith inspired organisations, contribute to address stigma and discrimination, strengthen HIV and AIDS related service provision and promote leadership and advocacy for the Fast- Track approach and a sustained AIDS response to end the global AIDS epidemic by 2030.