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Q & A with Rev Canon Gideon Byamugisha
By : Craig Brown
Rating : Average Rating : 9.33 From 3 Voter(s)
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"Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha from Uganda is the first practicing African priest to publicly declare that he is HIV positive - the first man to break what may be one of the most important barriers gainst Africa's struggle against HIV" (World Vision media release). I was able to get an interview with this amazingly honest man during his brief tour of Australia last week. His journey into what it means to have HIV is a significant story in itself. Reverend Byamugisha has also campaigned for a greater awareness of the various ways of preventing the spread of HIV, in his native Uganda and on the world stage. In June, he spoke to the United Nations on that very issue. CB: What would the average Ugandan expect if they were to announce that they had HIV? GB: There could be three possible repercussions. The first one could be rejection; it could be hate. It could [also] be discrimination: by family members, by health providers, and if he or she was a member of the church, by the congregation or by the leadership. The second possible response could be that they really don't know what to do with you! Uncertainty. OK, you are there, so what? They are talking about you, they are silent, they are quiet, they are pointing fingers behind your back. The third one could be like what happened to me. They accept you with love, with care, with understanding and with compassion.

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