December 1, 2006

Don’t discriminate HIV/AIDS victims


If churches discriminate against AIDS victims then they will go underground and live a lie, pretending everything is alright at best. At worse they could continue to spread the disease.

This is according to a National AIDS Secretariat counselor, who took the fight against AIDS to church last week Sunday.{{more}}

Addressing the 300 member strong congregation led by the popular TV evangelist and business executive, George Frederick, Diana Bailey said that the fight against AIDS is real and the church had a crucial role to play.

“The church cannot be silent, the church has to become actively involved in the fight,” she said.

She warned the members to not become like the world and discriminate against persons with HIV and AIDS.

“If they can’t go to the church then where can they go?” she asked.

When asked by Rev. Frederick what the church’s response should be Bailey simply said “Don’t discriminate.” She reminded the church that AIDS is foremost a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be contracted through casual contact.

Bailey told SEARCHLIGHT after the service that while she encourages churches to continue to preach the message of abstinence to the youths, they must also be willing to face the reality that not all of them will honour that call.

This reality means, she explained, there is a place in the church for the education of youths about protection without encouraging sexual promiscuity.

“You don’t wait until something gets way out of hand to address it,” she said. “People will fall to temptation,” the dedicated AIDS prevention worker added.

“The church cannot be naive, we live in a real world so it must instruct its members in holy living but must also be prepared to deal with the worse eventualities at times.”