Church is ‘cautiously optimistic’ over HIV breakthrough

The US military announced earlier in the week that a HIV vaccine had cut the infection rate by 30 per cent in a trial with 16,000 people in Thailand.

The Rev Dr Robin Hill, convener of the Church of Scotland’s HIV/AIDS Project said the breakthrough appeared to be “very significant” but warned that there was still a long way to go before a complete cure would be found.

“Although still a long way off, the theoretical possibility of an effective vaccine is one which will excite great interest across the globe,” he said.

“No miracle outcome is promised and, as yet, the threat posed by the virus remains very real, at home and abroad.

“The Church of Scotland HIV/AIDS Project is confident that the best way of dealing with the risks associated with HIV is through responsible lifestyle choices which promote health and wholeness.”

The project supports HIV and Aids initiatives in countries around the world, including Scotland, Malawi, Bangladesh and Thailand.

At the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly in May, the project advised that candidates entering the ministry receive HIV and Aids training to enable congregations to better understand the issues surrounding HIV in Scotland and offer more effective care and support.