Even though HIV prevalence has been declining in recent years, the rate and spread of HIV/AIDS is still an enormous issue in Zambia, with 1.2 million people in the country living with the disease. According to Unicef, HIV prevalence among people ages 15 through 49 in Zambia is 14% and, among teenagers, the infection rates are 3.6% for girls and 5.7% for boys. However, even though youth are highly at risk of acquiring HIV, they are also capable of reversing the trend if they are equipped with information, knowledge, and community support. Research supports that HIV prevention programs not only increase knowledge about the disease but also promote safer sexual behavior and reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
In order to address the social stigma associated with HIV/AIDS as well as educate members of CCAP congregations, the CCAP Synod of Zambia founded the HIV/AIDS Department in 2001. The goal of the department is to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS through education as well as provide relief to people who are either infected or affected by the disease. With the help of Empact Africa and other partners, the department accomplishes these two goals by organizing education and awareness programs, which include information on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), safe sexual practices, and addressing misconceptions and stigmas concerning the disease. These programs are conducted on the congregational level and educate CCAP congregation members in order to alleviate the impact of HIV/AIDS in the community.
Status: The HIV/AIDS Department receives assistance from Empact Africa, a non-profit that empowers pastors in sub-Saharan Africa to fight the stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS, leading to the prevention and treatment of the disease.
Zambian HIV/AIDS estimates (2012)
Stats from UNAIDS
Number of people living with HIV1,100,000[1,000,000 - 1,200,000]Adults aged 15 to 49 prevalence rate12.7%[11.9% - 13.7%]Adults aged 15 and up living with HIV950,000[900,000 - 1,000,000]Women aged 15 and up living with HIV490,000[460,000 - 530,000]Children aged 0 to 14 living with HIV160,000[140,000 - 170,000]Deaths due to AIDS30,000[26,000 - 36,000]Orphans due to AIDS aged 0 to 17670,000[600,000 - 760,000]
HIV/AIDS Stigma Workshops
The CCAP Synod of Zambia's HIV/AIDS Department hosts workshops focusing on the stigma that accompanies the disease.
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