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Annual ICMDA HIV Initiative Award
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Today it is our privilege to reflect on the work of Canon Gideon Byamugisha  of Uganda.



Canon Gideon Byamugisha


Canon Gideon Byamugisha is an ordained priest in the Church of Uganda. In 1992, he became the first African religious leader to openly declare his HIV-positive status. He has since devoted his life to an AIDS ministry which has taken him to over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of the world.



Gideon is driven by a passion for the dignity and rights of all people, especially those marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against because of their HIV-positive status. He has played leading roles in the Church of Uganda's AIDS program, the Uganda AIDS Commission, World Vision International, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, special conferences of the United Nations, and in founding the African Network of Religious Leaders living with or Affected by HIV and AIDS.



Gideon has successfully challenged AIDS-related stigma, denial and discrimination within and outside the church. He has corrected wrong and misleading information about HIV and AIDS, and provided accurate and relevant information in a clear, easily understandable manner. He has spread awareness of the multi-sectoral dimensions of the AIDS pandemic, especially the ways in which people's choices are influenced by poverty, gender discrimination, cultural practices and sexual violence. He argues that HIV and AIDS are both preventable and manageable.


He calls upon people to spread hope about HIV through peer education, counselling, home-based care, practical help and prayer, pointing to an array of outstanding work with which people can engage.





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