HIV/AIDS training breaks stigma

By January 22, 2013

Chad (MNN) — It is said that 61% of women who are HIV-positive in sub-Saharan Africa have been faithful to one man, according to TEAM.

However, social stigmas say otherwise.

"Because it is about sex, in my country they then automatically think you got it because you have been loose…you are not anything better than a prostitute…. They don’t believe you didn’t get it any other way,” an African woman told Avert International.

Even when women become HIV-positive through their husbands, the women take the blame and even experience shunning. Women have told TEAM workers, “A man must have his ‘needs’ met and if, for whatever reason, his wife is unable to meet them then he is ‘obliged’ to have them met elsewhere.”

TEAM is working to end the stigma and educate people in Chad. One worker with TEAM recently spent two days with 80 women from the Lélé community in Kelo, Chad, talking about HIV/AIDS. According to World Vision, the city of Kelo has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Sessions with TEAM educate women about sexuality, facts about HIV/AIDS, and transmission. The women also learn about Biblical truth and how to respond in God’s love to someone living with HIV/AIDS.

Anne Hoyt with TEAM says, “HIV/AIDS has provided God’s people with an unprecedented opportunity to show God’s love and teach God’s truth, particularly here in Africa.”

TEAM workers hope that these 80 women will go back to their community with the truth about HIV/AIDS and that Christ’s compassion can begin to break down the stigma.

Around 210,000 people in Chad are infected with HIV/AIDS. 34,000 of them are children under the age of 14, according to UNAIDS.

Pray for TEAM’s ministry educating people about HIV/AIDS. Pray for many to come to Christ as a result of their work.

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