Religion and HIV/AIDS Don't Mix
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The Honourable Michael Kirby discusses the relationship between Religion and HIV. Kirby has been involved in international activities in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic since the mid-1980s. Recently, he attended a conference held near Utrecht in The Netherlands concerned with the role of religion in the epidemic. Can religion be a support to the doctors and others who are attempting to prevent the spread of HIV? Or is religion an impediment that causes the stigma and shame that impede safer health messages? Kibry offers some historical analogies. In her book The March of Folly, famed historian Barbara Tuchman describes how even people with the best information can sometimes blindly stick to the wrong path. This is what is happening now with religion and the AIDS epidemic. With funds for therapies drying up in the GFC, how can we turn the religious response around so that it counteracts the messages of shame and fear that it currently purveys?
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