August 29, 2022 – Today, CHIPTS honors National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NFHAAD), a day dedicated to engaging faith communities to work together to promote HIV/AIDS education, connect those at risk with prevention and treatment services, and help address stigma and discrimination. Find more information about NFHAAD below.
Since 2017, Reaching All HIV+ Muslims in America (RAHMA) and its partners have led an annual observance of National Faith HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NFHAAD) across the United States to engage people of all faiths in taking a stand against stigma in their congregations and promoting HIV education. As described by the National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Task Force:
“Many faith communities have been and are at the forefront of the response to HIV/AIDS in a variety of ways. Faith communities and faith-based organizations have been and are a vital part of providing HIV/AIDS services, especially in hard-to-reach areas, and especially when government and community-based organizations were slow to act in the early days of the epidemic. Unfortunately, some faith communities can also be environments for perpetuating misinformation and reinforcing stigma and discrimination against people living with or at risk for HIV…We pray that each of our faith communities can be a welcoming and safe place for any person with HIV/AIDS and an uplifting environment that will support people’s use of effective HIV prevention.”
Many faith-based leaders and advocates are leading transformative conversations in their communities and supporting interventions to end the HIV epidemic. One group working to bridge HIV and faith is the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Faith Initiative. This national program engages Faith Ambassadors across the U.S. to connect with diverse faith communities and share evidence-based information about HIV.
HVTN Faith Ambassadors have written a series of reflections offering different religious perspectives and sharing personal experiences around HIV and faith. Check out a few of their reflections below:
“The Intersection of Faith and Science,” Donata Morrison, PhD / HVTN Faith Ambassador – The Intersection of Faith and Science (hvtn.org)
“Faith Community Engagement – A Latinx Muslim Perspective,” Sultana Ocasio/ HVTN Faith Ambassador – Faith Community Engagement – A Latinx Muslim Perspective (hvtn.org)
“The Body of Christ has HIV,”
- “Tie Your Camel First, and Then put Your Trust in Allah,” Khadijah Abdullah/ HVTN Faith Ambassador – Tie Your Camel First, and Then put Your Trust in Allah” (hvtn.org)
Learn more about National Faith HIV & AIDS Awareness Day and opportunities to get involved today.