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Fiji Time: 2:06 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Religious groups ready to spread the message

Ropate Valemei
Friday, December 14, 2012

FAITH-BASED organisations have welcomed the two documents that will guide them in their response to HIV in their communities and congregations.

The chairman of Interfaith Search Fiji, Jalal Ud Dean, said there were common interests in their collective meetings on the church to take a leading role in combating HIV and AIDS.

"When this initiative was taken up, Interfaith was very much part of it from the beginning," Mr Dean said.

He said 19 faith-based organisations have stood up to fight this good cause.

Faith-based organisations have been described by UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe as one of the most powerful networks that the UN system can partner with in the response to HIV as it has wide-reaching, dedicated communities driven by deep devotion to social justice and human rights.

Hare Krishna society president Dr Rajesh Maharaj said it was a great initiative for the President to take a leading role in launching the documents.

"We will be going out to share this to our community, especially the young people, to be aware of this disease," he said.

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam (Lahore) Fiji representative Maulana Fazal Haq said this issue was serious for the Islamic community.

"I am very impressed because this is very important information that will be distributed to the Islamic community," Mr Haq said.

Catholic Archdiocese of Suva counsellor Brother Fergus Garrett said they had been very much part of the document from the beginning to the final stage.