UK churches challenged to tackle HIV and Aids

Marek Slansky is regional leader of ACET's work in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where he works on educational and sexual health programmes in schools, youth clubs and prisons.

He and his team are working to counter the spread of HIV and Aids, which is a growing problem in the former Soviet Union countries. He says his work is not always easy, particularly where there is reluctance to accept the scale of the problem locally.

Paul Kabunga works for ACET in Uganda, which is one of the charity's longest-running programmes, having been established in 1990. ACET's work there focuses on reducing stigma and discrimination and mitigating the effects of HIV and Aids.

Kabunga, who is part of the Africa Regional Team, oversees work with refugees and hard to reach groups such as motor cycle taxi drivers and men’s drinking clubs.

The charity has been severely hit by HIV and Aids but Kabunga reports that inroads are being made in halting the spread.

Kabunga and Slansky work with church leaders and volunteers to help them take the lead in offering care, education and training in their local communities.

Peter Fabian, Chief Executive of ACET said: “I am delighted they are able to spend time with here in the UK, I have been privileged to see them in action, mobilising local churches to be involved in this work, and know that their story is a challenging but encouraging one.

"ACET UK is committed to support their work in whatever way we can, and hope their visit will challenge UK churches to join the fight against HIV and AIDS. Too often, congregations are unaware of this global human tragedy.

"The work that Paul and Marek do, and indeed the work of ACET teams throughout the world, should rightly challenge Christians in the UK as we see what is possible when the church takes the lead in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”