KARONGI – Religious leaders in Karongi district have endorsed a new strategy to fight HIV/AIDS which includes promoting condoms.
The new strategy revolves around safer practices while emphasizing access to treatment and nutrition as well as voluntary counselling and testing.
According to Ignace Singirankabo, the coordinator of the Rwanda Interfaith Network against HIV/AIDS, a forum that brings together all religious groups in the fight against the AIDS, the new approach is stigma free and exemplary.
“There is a thought that HIV is only transmitted through sexual intercourse which is wrong. Most people will refuse to test because of fear of being stigmatised,” Singirankabo explained.
This new strategy was unveiled during a sensitisation campaign in which Congolese refugees in Kiziba refugee camp were given free condoms.
It is believed that due to over population in the camp and lack of awareness, the level of HIV in the camp is high and its spread very rampant.
In order to speed up the implementation new campaign , over 200 religious leaders living with HIV have formed an association, Rwanda network of religious leaders living or personally affected with AIDS (Rwanelera) to spearhead it.