What Islam Can Teach Us About HIV Outreach

With the the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC coming up in less than three weeks, it is fitting that we should be looking to foreign nations for strategies with which to fight the HIV epidemic in this country. While authorities in the DC area and elsewhere are emulating the strategies developed by PEPFAR projects and prevention efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa, it might also be beneficial to look to the continent’s norther coast for ideas as well. In the PBS NewsHour clip below from this past December, Ray Suarez investigates how HIV advocates are using over 20,000 Imams to spread prevention messages throughout he deeply conservative nation of Morocco. It is a truly amazing thing to see a society that does not permit its women to wear their hair uncovered in public preaching the values of HIV testing and awareness during Friday Prayer. With an HIV prevalence of 1/10 of 1%, Morocco’s public health issue is much less pressing than here in the US, yet advocacy groups are already conducting hundreds of HIV sensitivity trainings for religious leaders and at-risk populations in the country. If they can make progress in such a restrictive environment, it should give us great hope that the faith based community here in America can make an even bigger impact on HIV/AIDS here. Watch the video to get a closer look at the melding of Islam and HIV prevention in Morocco:

Categories: HIV News

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