Terrence Higgins Trust uses cookies to improve your experience of our websites. For more information or to change the use of cookies, please click here.

Accept and Close

Faith and Communities Project

a couple

Religion and attendance at church or mosque is central to many African people’s lives. African people are also one of the communities most affected by HIV in the UK, so Terrence Higgins Trust has a pioneering project working with faith leaders.

The Faith and Communities Project works with Muslim and Christian faith leaders as well as community groups to try to bring down rates of undiagnosed HIV in the UK and increase and normalise testing.

Through a programme of training around HIV, Terrence Higgins Trust aims to equip faith leaders to give congregations the information and support they need. As faith leaders are role models within their communities it is important that members of congregations who need support around HIV testing or diagnosis are confident to approach them.

We are also working with community groups to provide HIV awareness and testing at events such as football tournaments and community barbeques.

Most new infections come from people who are unaware they have HIV. In many cases they have had HIV for years but in some cases this may be because they are at a very early stage of infection (the first six weeks or so) where HIV cannot be detected in a test. At this early stage the levels of HIV in the body are extremely high making people highly infectious. No matter how long someone has HIV without knowing, it is vital that everyone knows the importance of regular testing and how to prevent HIV being passed on.

As faith and community leaders, you have an important role to play in making sure your congregations and members get support and empathy if they are worried about HIV or are living with the condition. As respected role models, people will turn to you and trust your advice and the information you give them.

We need you to join the project and lead your community in reducing HIV transmission and increasing testing. To take part or find out more contact Marcy Madzikanda at marcy.madzikanda@tht.org.uk or on 0207 812 1807.

I’m a faith leader – what can I get from the project?

  • Information about HIV and other health issues affecting your community.
  • Information about the benefits of HIV testing.
  • A tailor-made programme for each place of worship around faith-based approaches to tackling reducing HIV-related stigma. This could be during existing health days or events and could be HIV specific or include general health and wellbeing messages.
  • Tools to increase and share knowledge.
  • Help to establish partnerships with other organisations around diabetes, blood pressure and mental health.
  • Referral to established faith-based support groups for HIV positive congregation members.
  • Opportunities and support to run testing clinics during National HIV Testing Week.

We’re a community group – what can we get from the project?

  • Information about HIV and other health issues affecting your community.
  • Information about the benefits of HIV testing.
  • Bespoke testing services at community events.
  • Free resources.
  • The opportunity to take part in our It Starts With Me campaign.
  • Help to establish partnerships with existing stakeholders.
  • Referral to established support groups for HIV positive community members.
  • Opportunities and support to run testing clinics during National HIV Testing Week.