Discrimination and stigmatization of people living with HIV by Christian people has been reported to be widespread in various communities around the Solomon Islands.

This was according to reports released by NGOs, when presenting their updated information on their HIV advocacy programs conducted in rural and urban areas.

In these reports, it has been highlighted that discrimination amongst HIV positives was not only by ordinary rural and urban dwellers but also their church congregations.

Program Manager, Ms. Lorraine Satorara of the World Vision program in response to the reports said Christians should not discriminate those living with HIV rather, they should be the ones that provide care and promotion to those who are infected.

She said of the number of HIV cases reported, particularly on women, most of them are fault from their partners, "so it's unfair to discriminate those living with HIV."

According to Ms. Satorara, discrimination of those living with HIV by Christian has been identified as "still a gap" toward efforts made to help those infected to be able to live a normal live.

She said it is the role of Christians to help those who are infected, by preparing them eternal hope because after all, it is God alone that will judge them.

"Christians need to strengthen the spiritual hope of those living with HIV by feeding them spiritually," Ms. Satorara said.

She said Christians has a role to play in bringing those infected with their family members to talk over how their properties would be placed in the event that the infected person dies.

Ms. Satorara said this is one area their program also targeted and that is providing those living with HIV a free environment where they can share and interact equally with others.

She also revealed that there is a need to reinforce the message of HIV across the country and to teach rural and urban dwellers the mode of transmission involved in HIV.

She said lack of basic understanding on HIV is still very poor in our communities.

Source: National Express