Dear Minister of God,
I would like to write to you regarding our community project on promoting and creating awareness of HIV/AIDS in the black African communities in Luton by Actionplus Foundation Luton. Actionplus Foundation is a registered charity in the UK and Ghana. We operate in Luton and London Boroughs such as Southwark, Lewisham, Haringey and Dagenham and Redbridge. The vision of Actionplus Foundation is a world where people affected by HIV do not experience poverty, ill health and prejudice.
Actionplus Foundation provides support to empower people living with HIV/AIDS so that they can play a central role to improve their own lives. Actionplus Foundation is a member of Luton HIV Partnership of Public Health, Luton Borough Council, a member of British HIV Association (BHIVA) and a member of Public Health of England – Local Activation Partnership of HIV Prevention England coordinated by Terrence Higgins Trust UK to offer one – to – one intervention and a point of care/community HIV testing in the high-risk communities especially in the black African communities in Luton through ‘Take Action Now And U Test 4 Life’ events.
‘U Test 4 Life And Take Action Now’ event is aimed at creating awareness of HIV/AIDS, reducing new infection rate of HIV by promoting early diagnosis, and challenging stigma, prejudice and discrimination associated with people living with HIV and their families in the black African communities in Luton.The event is also used to mark the commemoration of National HIV/AIDS Testing Week (NHTW) and the World AIDS Day in the UK. We work in partnership with Pastors and black African churches in Luton such as Inspirational Charismatic Church, Freedom Centre International, Fountain House Chapel International, and Liberty House Worship Ministries etc to help us achieve these aims of ‘U Test 4 Life And Take Action Now’ events in Luton. For any further information about our work on HIV, could you please visit our website: www.actionplusfoundation.org. As Christians, God wants us to be in good health all the time and we must therefore take good care of our health. A word of God says in 3 John 1: 2 that ‘Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. HIV/AIDS is a real human issue, but many people are ignorant about it or having attitude of ‘do not want to talk about it’ due to stigma. The alarming issue is that many people who are infected with HIV are also not aware of their status. Therefore, they have put the entire community at risk as some of them continue to live in ignorance.
Nationally and internationally, the number of HIV positive people who are accessing care are increasing every day. Currently, there are 17 million people around the world on treatment for HIV. In 2016, 88,769 people were living with diagnosed HIV and accessed HIV care in the UK. 61,097 were men and 27,672 were women. In Luton there are 622 people who are HIV positive accessing care, of which 470 are seen and treated in Luton, 409 are of Black African origin (PHE, 2016). This shows that Black-African men and women are the largest group affected by HIV. We want to challenge ourselves about the stigma associated with HIV. We want our lovely black African people to know their status by getting their test done to avoid late diagnosis. Today, with access to lifesaving treatment, an HIV-positive person can expect to have the same lifespan as someone who is HIV-negative. An HIV positive person cannot pass on the virus if he / she is on medication.
I wish to write to you if you could grant us the permission to come to your highly esteemed church on any Sunday to give a short presentation on HIV/AIDS in order to create awareness of HIV/AIDS among your beloved congregations. The presentation will not last more than 10 minutes.
I hope and would be very grateful if this email meets your kindest and earliest consideration.
I am looking forward to receiving a reply from you soon and counting on your usual cooperation.