Religious Leaders Gather in Toronto to Review Commitment to HIV

"As a religious leader, I am convinced that my faith must be more visible and active to halt the spread of HIV and reverse this pandemic."

TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - This is the opening line of the personal commitment to action signed by over 450 religious leaders in the past twenty months. In the commitment (www.hivcommitment.net) the leaders outline specific ways they will commit to breaking the silence that surrounds HIV and AIDS and to overcome stigma and discrimination.

Next week, leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim leaders from around the world will meet at the national office of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in Toronto to assess progress in fulfilling this commitment.

The fifteen leaders, including religious leaders living with HIV, will be joined by people living with HIV, and representatives of organizations active in the response to HIV, including UNAIDS, World AIDS Campaign, United Nations Population Fund and Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+). They will be assessing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Summit of High Level Religious Leaders in Response to HIV, held in the Netherlands in March 2010 and discussing ways to strengthening religious leadership in the response to HIV.

A report, highlighting how these religious leaders and their faith communities are fulfilling this commitment and recommendations for future actions, will be released for World AIDS Day.

The meeting will be held November 29-30 and is organized by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (www.e-alliance.ch), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is hosted at the national office of The Presbyterian Church in Canada (www.presbyterian.ca).

There will be opportunities for interviews with religious leaders at 11:30am on Wednesday November 30th or interviews may be arranged throughout the meeting on request.

SOURCE The Presbyterian Church in Canada

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Karen Plater
Chair, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance HIV and AIDS Strategy Group
Associate Secretary for Stewardship
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
50 Wynford Dr. Toronto, ON  M3C 1J7
E-M kplater@presbyterian.ca
TEL 416-441-1111 or 1-800-619-7301 ext. 272
CEL 416-524-3218     www.presbyterian.ca

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The Presbyterian Church in Canada

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