Commitments to  ACTION

Resilience & Renewal: faith in the HIV response

As individuals, faith and spiritual leaders, representatives of communities and organizations of diverse faith traditions, compelled by our shared values and inspired by the stories of Resilience & Renewal shared at the HIV Interfaith Conference Resilience & Renewal: faith in the HIV response, which took place virtually on 22, 23 and 24 September 2020, and by the recommendations made by the many participants from several countries around the world; and keen to promote the central role of positive faith in action to end AIDS as a public health threat

 

We commit to urgently take significant and sustained actions in the following areas during the next ten years:

 

  1. Increase Access to HIV Education, Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support;

  2. Promote the Human Rights and Dignity of All People;

  3. Address HIV Stigma and Discrimination;

  4. Build Bridges of Collaboration among Different Faiths as well as between Faith and Non-Faith Actors

 

As unique individuals and organizations, we each commit to using our gifts and strengths to ensure a focused and holistic faith response for the achievements of the 95 – 95 – 95 targets:

 

☐       I/We commit to exercise stronger, more visible, and practical leadership in the response to HIV, by:

  • Endorsing the “Commitments to Action" for individuals, faith-spiritual leaders and organizations -

  • Committing to “The 13 Million Campaign which aims at promoting access to services to the 13 million children, women and men living with HIV who are not yet on antiretroviral treatment

 

☐     I/We commit to be mutually accountable for contributing to the achievement of the 2030 HIV

targets, by:

  • Tracking progress towards the commitments included in “Our Promise” and the “Commitments to Action”, every six months

  • Identifying and gathering, through the Interfaith Health Platform and other venues, best practices and evidence-based models of faith-inspired HIV programs and activities

 

☐      I/We commit to engage meaningfully with people living with HIV and at-risk populations by:

  • Working to create welcoming and safe places of worship for everyone

  • Ensuring that our programs address the unique needs of different groups

  • Involving people living with HIV and at-risk populations in leadership and decision making processes

 

☐     I/We commit to be well-informed about the HIV epidemic, including the latest evidence-based

methods of prevention, testing and treatment; and to build the capacity of our faith communities by:

  • Supporting and participating in capacity-building programs to equip ourselves, local, national and high-level religious-spiritual leaders to share appropriate information about HIV, and to implement effective HIV programs and activities, including in collaboration with and through the support of UN Agencies and other international agencies, donors and key stakeholders in the HIV response;

  • Sharing this information within our spiritual and religious communities

 

☐     I/We commit to listen to and engage with adolescents and young people by:

  • Promoting dialogues with adolescents and young people to ensure that HIV interventions are truly shaped around their needs

  • Educating and empowering adolescents and young people with the information, tools and support to prevent HIV transmission

  • Encouraging young people to take up leadership roles in our faith communities, including on HIV-related activities

 

☐     I/We commit to promote access to paediatric and adults’ optimal diagnostic products and

antiretrovirals; and to support retention, adherence and viral load suppression of children and all people living with HIV, by:

  • Standing with and for children living with HIV and families

  • Utilizing faith-inspired health services and congregational platforms for outreach to share information about paediatric HIV, and the value and importance of testing, treatment adherence, care and support of all people as soon as they are diagnosed

  • Encouraging community members to make full use of services for children and adults living with HIV

  • Calling on UNAIDS to include children as a priority in the new HIV Strategy (2021-2025)

 

☐     I/We commit to protect and uphold human rights, by:

  • Engaging to understand human rights principles

  • Acting decisively to protect human rights within our faith communities

  • Advocating to remove the discriminatory laws, policies and practices that violate human rights and are major barriers to access to HIV services

  • Raising awareness in our faith communities about human rights violations and social practices that put people at greater risk of infection, such as gender and sexual-based violence, child marriage and female genital mutilations/cutting

 

☐     I/We commit to eliminate stigma and discrimination towards all people living with and affected

by HIV, particularly marginalized and key populations, by:

  • Delivering a strong statement of advocacy and commitment in our faith communities and places of worship on World AIDS Day each year until AIDS is over

  • and implementing stigma reduction interventions and campaigns in our local faith communities and at global level; and strengthening ongoing activities and efforts to address stigma and discrimination

  • Creating a safe and welcoming community and congregation for people living with HIV, including children, adults, and families, as well as members of marginalized populations

 

 

☐     I/We commit to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our faith communities and places of worship

by:

  • Using the lessons learned in the HIV pandemic

  • Ensuring continuity of services to people living with HIV and at risk of infection

  • Sharing sound scientific information      

  • Countering misinformation

  • Standing up against COVID-19 related stigma and discrimination

  • Adhering to evidence-based public health guidelines

  • Assisting in the care and support of those affected by COVID-19, including both those affected directly by the virus, as well as those affected by second order impacts, such as food insecurity, and domestic and sexual violence.

 

☐       I/We commit to be strong advocates by repeatedly and persistently:

  • Calling on global leaders, international bodies and donors to keep their commitments; to ensure that there is adequate funding for the global response to HIV and AIDS, including funding for faith-based initiatives; and to renew their engagement to ending the AIDS pandemic by 2030.

  • Calling on high-level religious leaders from diverse religious traditions to reaffirm, through their words and actions, the urgency of strengthening the global response to HIV, and to recommit themselves and their institutions to actively work toward ending AIDS

  • Calling on global and national political and faith leaders to implement laws, policies, and multinational agreements that reduce the structural barriers to equitable health systems, such as poverty and racism

 

☐     I/We commit to achieve our goals through collaboration by:

  • Creating opportunities to become strong and active partners with governments, with civil society, and with non-governmental organizations at all levels in responding to the HIV epidemic

  • Working with other community-based organizations, with governments and other stakeholders to ensure that HIV services are available in communities where we have a presence

  • with religious leaders of different faith and spiritual traditions to influence local, national, regional and global decision-making processes on HIV

  • Actively engaging with and challenging religious leaders and institutions when planning and implementing HIV strategies

  • Facilitating dialogues at all levels among religious leaders, communities, people living with HIV, youths and members of marginalized, vulnerable, and at-risk populations

  • Working with providers of health services, both secular and faith-based:

    • to ensure that HIV services are available to all members of their communities, including marginalized and vulnerable populations, free of stigma and discrimination;

    • to ensure that optimal testing and treatment products are accessible to all.

 

 

As people of faith, we commit to do our part to help to achieve the 95-95-95 targets and to eliminate AIDS as public health threat by 2030; and we invite others to join us.

 

https://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/201506_JC2743_Understanding_FastTrack_en.pdf

Individuals, faith institutions, groups and communities are welcome to the Interfaith Health Platform.

To join the platform, please subscribe to the mailing list.

 

© 2020 Interfaith Health Platform

  • White Facebook Icon

Join the Mailing List