Moving Faster Than AIDS
Grace & Light takes a unique church-centred approach to the HIV pandemic; integrating prevention, care and support and attitude change activities.
We believe that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is more than a medical emergency; it is also a spiritual and moral crisis. Indeed the spiritual and moral issues go deeper than the medical ones in both developed and developing nations.
Thus we have constructed a response that tackles all three areas. In Grace & Light medical personnel and theologians work together to transforms lives through our three principles grace, openness and love.
We work through local churches of any denomination. They are rooted in their communities and retain respect, a potent combination in the fight against HIV & AIDS.
The process begins with the minister and leaders; we only go into churches with their active support. Then we address the entire congregation during a service, giving basic information, the disease and preaching the gospel and challenging people.
That challenge begins with HIV testing on the church premises for all who are interested. Two options are offered; standard confidential testing or openness – sharing your results with other people in the church who have also chosen to be open.
All who choose the second option make three commitments, to:
- Belong to Christ in the gospel
- Be open about their HIV status, whether positive or negative
- Meet together regularly in small groups to support and encourage each other.
Though we began in Nigeria in early 2003, in response to the particular cultural issues there, we aim to apply this approach wherever the pandemic and Christian churches coexist.
Grace & Light is an international charity headquartered in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria and with fundraising organisations in the United Kingdom, France and the United States.