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Church should accept us: PHLAs
Staff Reporter Dimapur, JAN 15 (NPN):
Published on 16 Jan. 2011 12:20 AM IST
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Expressing concern for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, some Churches in the state have been initiating various programmes to address the issue. However, despite efforts made by the Church, stigma and discrimination against PHLAs still continues to exist.
This was highlighted by some PHLAs at the interaction session with Church leaders, media persons and Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) at the 18th prayer fellowship and counseling conducted by Eyilo Ministry-a ministry to the PHLAs, at Lotha Baptist Church Dimapur on Saturday.
Members of the PHLAs felt that their primary need was acceptance from the Church. “Material support is secondary, but Church should accept us”, said a volunteer from PHLAs.
One of the PHLAs also said that by coming together and having fellowship at Eyilo Ministry, she could overcome fear and experience a new lease of life with fellow friends.
“When I first came to Eyilo Ministry, I could not express my feelings, but with the support from the core workers of the ministry, it gave me hope”, she said.
Eyilo Ministry under Lotha Baptist Church, Dimapur is one ministry that is concerned with addressing stigma and discrimination against people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
Supported by North East India Committee on Relief and Development (NEICORD), the ministry has been able to reach out to a number of people living with HIV and AIDS, particularly women.
Realizing that stigma and discrimination affect PLHAs and prevent them from coming forward to seek services, the ministry conducts prayer fellowship every second Friday of the month.
Besides conducting prayer fellowship, it provides nutrition and educational support to those in need.
It may be recalled that as envisaged by the Nagaland Baptist Churches Council (NBCC) declaration of commitment for people living with HIV and AIDS on March 2007, it has brought smiles in the lives of many living with the virus.

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