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Primate Apologises for Stigma Against Those With HIV
by Dr Rena Downing, Interim Coordinator, CAPA HIV/AIDS Programme
 
CAPA 060317-1
March 17, 2006

[CAPA - Kenya] Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chair of the CAPA HIV/AIDS Board apologised for the way the church has treated people living with HIV.

"As a Church, our earlier approach in fighting AIDS was misplaced, since we likened it to a disease for sinners and a curse from God," he said to religious leaders at a conference in Nairobi.

"We apologise for earlier abandoning our flock, which was as a result of our ignorance of the disease. Today we are more informed."

At the same conference Canon Gideon Byamugisha of the Anglican Church of Uganda, urged politicians and religious leaders to disclose their positive status and so fight stigma. Deaths from AIDS are, “preventable, and postponable” as long people receive the correct information and there is no stigma, denial, shame and inaction.