New project sees churches and faith groups tackling HIV in Hertfordshire.
Herts Aid, in partnership with Naz, begins a project ‘Testing Faith’ on January 29th. We will be working with churches and faith groups in Hertfordshire, to get them involved in HIV testing, prevention and support.
‘Testing Faith’ is designed for faith leaders supporting Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) congregations. It allows them to positively address issues surrounding sexual health and support people affected by HIV in their community.
NAZ is based in London , it is a charity that provides HIV prevention and support services to the BAME communities. Herts Aid provides local HIV support services, sexual health testing and education services across the whole of Hertfordshire. Herts Aid approached NAZ to bring their successful project ‘Testing Faith’ to Hertfordshire.
BAME communities are disproportionally affected by HIV diagnoses: while only 13% of the UK population (Census, 2011), they account for 52% of all new HIV diagnoses (PHE, 2013)
Suzanne Bannister, Director at Herts Aid said “Talking about HIV and sexual health isn’t always easy, but we want faith leaders to do just that, helping to tackle stigma and make people living with HIV feel less isolated.
When things are difficult, people often turn to their faith leaders for guidance and this new project will help faith groups respond to those affected by HIV. Raising awareness and promoting testing will also help to prevent HIV being passed on.
While it might seem strange for sexual health charities and churches to work together, it actually makes perfect sense.”
The Testing Faith project has three key elements:
- a training course for faith leaders on HIV and sexual health
- creation of a sexual health plan to educate the congregation and offer support
- an HIV testing event or referral process
There are still spaces available on the next Testing Faith course. Faith Leaders interested in attending should contact Denise Blair on 01923 803 440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org