Ask an expert
Question

15 Dec 2005

Re:HIV & AIDS support group.
I am AFM Pastor in Germiston and Daveyton, i just want to find out how can we start HIV & AIDS support group in our community as a church.We really want to contribute in this but we dont know how to start this becuse people are secretive with their status.
No one we know in our church and outside but we believe they are there.

My no is 0118611542 o/h 0734542337.

Best regards
M.Maham.
Answer 619 views
Expert
HIV Counsellor

01 Jan 0001

Dear PS Maham

Starting a HIV support group in any community is very tricky, since people are naturally afraid of the stigma attached. This may be even worse for a church, where people's fear of judgement may be even greater. Even so, I believe that the church has a lot to offer in supporting HIV+ people.

The first step would be to get training for your staff and/or volunteers in HIV counselling from an accredited organization. This is crucial to combine true Christian compassion with sound counselling skills and good HIV knowledge. I would also recommend partnering with local organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS. You will also have to be very clear regarding your intended audience: Christians who are HIV+ or HIV+ people in general? This will impact on how you facilitate your group.

Hope this helps.

Stay well!
Laurent
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.