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Religious leaders discuss youth, HIV/AIDS discrimination

Guyana Faith Leaders Consultation in Georgetown. Source:


Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB of Georgetown was among a contingent of Guyana faith leaders participating in a series of regional meetings under the PANCAP—Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS Justice for All Programme who all agreed to incorporate HIV messages into their faith-based work and planned activities.

PANCAP convened the Guyana Faith Leaders Consultation June 3 at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown. Among those present were religious leaders from the Inter-Religions Organisation of Guyana (IRO) and Family Federation for World Peace, Rastafari Council, the Baha’is of Guyana, Seventh Day Adventist, Anglican Diocese of Guyana and members of PANCAP and the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (Guyana). reported June 4 that the Director of PANCAP Dereck Springer challenged the meeting to utilise youth groups/clubs to propagate messages about ending stigma and discrimination. He noted that HIV messages could be integrated into the holistic education of youths, especially awareness about other social issues, including teenage pregnancies, illegal drugs, etc.

To this end, the faith leaders agreed that stigma and discrimination continue to be significant barriers to vulnerable groups accessing health and that there is an urgent need for more education on the matter.

The article noted that “faith leaders agreed to work with the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) concerning information and knowledge sharing as well as working in communities to end stigma and discrimination.”

Finally, the article mentioned, faith leaders reached consensus on working with the IRO on activities developed June 3.