Faith leaders have been at the front lines of efforts to mitigate the effects of AIDS since the earliest days of the epidemic, providing care and treatment, supporting orphans, and advocating for prevention. However, the relationship between the faith sector and the public health community has often been tenuous and has occasionally been oppositional.
In March 2011, CIFA began a multi-country research study on how religious leaders can be involved in the implementation of a new biomedical approach to HIV prevention. This approach is called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and involves the use of antiretroviral medications (ARVs) by HIV-negative individuals to prevent HIV acquisition.
Through a series of multi-faith consultations with religious leaders in Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, several key lessons emerged: