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KHOPOTSO: ANARELA, eo ka bokgutshwanyane e bolelang hore African Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS, e simollotswe ka kgwedi ya Pudungwana, lemong sa 2002, Mukono, naheng ya Uganda. Mokgatlo ona o thusa ho tshehetsa le ho kgothatsa baruti kontinenteng ya Aforika. Baruti bana ba fumaneha ka mefuta e mmedi: Bao ba nang le tshwaetso ya HIV le ba imelwang ka lebaka la hore ba tsebana le ba bang ba nang le tshwaetso ena. Moruti Ntate J.P. Heath wa kereke ya Anglican toropong ya Johannesburg, o hopola ka moo mokgatlo ona o hlahileng ka teng.

FATHER J.P. HEATH: Initially, my Bishop had asked me not to speak to my congregation. That was his way of protecting me in (the) Ministry. What that meant for me as a person was a time of profound loneliness because there was something about myself that I wasn’€™t allowed to talk about. And as a priest living with HIV I felt isolated. Then in August 2001, a big consultation was arranged in Boksburg, the All African Anglican Consultation on HIV and AIDS’€¦ At that consultation a priest got up – a priest from Uganda ‘€“ Canon Gideon Byamugisha. He said: ‘€˜I’€™m an Anglican priest, and I’€™m living with HIV.’€™ For the first time since I had found my own status, I knew that I wasn’€™t alone.

KHOPOTSO: Ketso tseno tse pedi tsa moruti Canon Byamugisha wa Uganda le moruti Ntate J.P. Heath tsa ho dumela hore e mong o na le HIV, hammoho le hore e mong ha se yena feela a nang le tshwaetso ena di ile tsa thusa ho bopa setwalle se matla. Setswalle sena se ile sa boela sa tswala mokgatlo wa ANARELA oo kopano ya ona ya ho qala e ileng ya tshwarelwa Mukono, naheng ya Uganda, ka selemo sa 2002. Makala a mang a mokgatlo ona a se a butswe dinaheng tse ding tsa Aforika. Mona Aforika-Borwa mokgatlo ona wa ANARELA o sa tswa behwa kgweding ya Motsheanong lemong sena se hodimo. Moruti Christo Greyling ke e mong wa maloko.

REV. CHRISTO GREYLIN:G We just realised how big this need is’€¦ They cannot tell that they are HIV positive to anyone else because of the fear of judgement. Therefore, this support network is a confidential network where church leaders can come together, build their skills, get support, but eventually can become prophetic voices who address stigma.

KHOPOTSO: Ebe tlasa mokgatlo ona wa ANARELA na ho se ho tsejwa hore na ke baruti ba ba kae ka palo ba nang le tshwaetso ena?

REV. CHRISTO GREYLING: Well, if we go back to the normal population figures and we look at the percentages of adults (people) between 15 and 49, who are HIV positive, we see that those people are also people of faith that very often belong to churches.

Then we must realise that there is no difference in the percentages or incidence between people of faith and people in the church, or people outside the church. And, therefore, what we are seeing in the other networks we’€™ve started is in Uganda we had 50 church leaders already who said ‘€˜I need to belong to this network.’€™ In Kenya, we had 40 people who attended. In Malawi, we expect nearly 60 now that will come to a retreat there. (In) South Africa then, specifically, there must be a huge number of people who at this stage are too afraid to go anywhere.                        

KHOPOTSO: Moruti Ntate J.P. Heath o re mokgatlo wa ANARELA o ena le maloko a 15 naheng ya Aforika-Borwa. O re palo ena e ka eba e nyane, empa bonyaneng bona matla a teng.

FATHER J.P. HEATH: The reality is that we have 15 people who are highly motivated; 15 people who are committed to providing support and care for others in the same situation. The position of religious leaders who themselves are living with HIV is unique in terms of being able to overcome the stigma which is experienced in society and the discrimination which is experienced in society. And the main reason for that is that the stigma and discrimination, the inaction, the mis-action, the silence and the denial around HIV and AIDS is something which really originated in religious institutions, and we have to be the ones who actually break that down.  

KHOPOTSO: Ho eba leloko la mokgatlo ona baruti ha ba a hapelletswa ho bolela hore ba na le tshwaetso ya HIV. Tshwaetso ya motho ke sephiri sa hae ho fihlela yena ka sebele a eba le sebete sa ho bolella ba bang. Le ha ho le jwalo bothata ke hore e mong motho a ka ba le mohopolo o phehisang o reng: Sephiri sena ke sona se bakang setjhaba hore se kgetholle le ho nyonya kapa hona ho tshaba batho ba nang le tshwaetso ya HIV. Moruti Ntate J.P. Heath hape.

FATHER J.P. HEATH: No, because we don’€™t wish to stigmatise and discriminate against people. So, what we do is we build a person’€™s capacity until they come to the point of being able to self-disclose and make a difference in their congregation and community. We work from the perspective not of trying to force them into issues, but aiding them to come to a point of living with it comfortably. By forcing a person into disclosure, the only thing that you do is you create anxiety and antagonism. If you actually build the capacity of a person to disclose openly, they become a very strong role model in their congregation and community.

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