Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Us End HIV/AIDS Discrimination!

Too many people who are HIV positive, their biggest fear is the treatment they experience from others. Rejection and isolation are the stigmas of AIDS and most often hurt even more than the disease.

At St. Peter’s Parish in the Diocese of Damongo, Ghana, the Missionaries of Africa recently ran a two-day workshop for 95 participants concerning HIV/AIDS and the dangers in stigmatizing people living with this dreaded disease.


I thought being diagnosed with AIDS was hard enough. But then my family and friends rejected me and left me alone. That was even more devastating!


Dear John,

Too many people who are HIV positive, their biggest fear is the treatment they experience from others. Rejection and isolation are the stigmas of AIDS and most often hurt even more than the disease.

At St. Peter’s Parish in the Diocese of Damongo, Ghana, the Missionaries of Africa recently ran a two-day workshop for 95 participants concerning HIV/AIDS and the dangers in stigmatizing people living with this dreaded disease.

Because of the stigma attached to AIDS, people fear even being tested. They don’t want to be rejected, lose their jobs, or be isolated from their families. As a result many who could be helped are left struggling on their own.

Father Paul Kuuhuba, pastor at St. Peter’s wrote: One major outcome from this first program was the need for follow up. Additional action needs to be taken to educate the local community about the truths of the disease. And significant steps must be taken with the local community to stop rejecting patients with AIDS and start befriending them, helping them stay home with their families, and keeping their jobs.

To launch this Sensitization and anti-Stigmatization Workshop we must raise $32,400 immediately. Medical personnel, doctors, and nurses are ready. Materials will be written, videos made, and T-shirts available to communicate this critical message. You’ve helped us before – and we are truly grateful. But today, we’re asking for your help with this urgent project. Your gift of $25, $50, or $100 will help us communicate the truth about AIDS and help wipe out the stigma it carries.

Bishop Peter Paul Angkyier of Damongo sent his endorsement: “The first project was a great help in sensitizing the youth about HIV/AIDS as a reality in our area and about the cause of the disease. This follow up project will further deepen the knowledge of our youth and influence their perception about the disease and their attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS.”

Most recent reports indicate that in Ghana more than 225,000 men and women have been diagnosed with AIDS. There are almost 15,300 deaths annually and 30,400 children are HIV positive. Although prevention has been expanded significantly, statistics show that stigmatization and ignorance are the root causes of the disease.

Stories abound on websites about the pain experienced by individuals diagnosed with AIDS or HIV positive. For example:

A 28 year old woman testified: “If I will die, it will not come from the virus but from the bad treatment of my family. I was always the topic of conversation in public areas. The most painful part was that they would talk about me so I could overhear them. I had to leave my family and move to the other side of town.”

Or when Baab lost her husband diagnosed with AIDS, she was thrown out of her home. “Everywhere I go my colleagues look at me as if I could infect them by merely getting close to them. I cannot go out and I feel uncomfortable with others.” Baab believes that people should understand that an HIV infection is like other diseases and people should be treated humanely and not discriminated against.

Even teens feel the stigma and its isolation. When 14 year old Fiifi’s mother died and he was diagnosed as HIV positive, life changed drastically. “When my mother died I did not know why but it was later explained to me. I was scared and ran away, but a pastor helped me build my confidence. Before this when I was playing with friends and their mothers saw us together, they would call my friends home and I would be left alone. I would cry.”

These stories are hard to read. The pain experienced is dreadful. But we can help. That’s why this project in St. Peter’s Parish is so important. I ask you to please pray for Father Paul and the local community. The youth seek help and wish to change attitudes about people diagnosed with AIDS.

Your financial help to raise the $32,400 needed for this project is so important. Some of you may know someone with this virus; many of you will not. However, we can reflect on our attitudes towards individuals with AIDS, dementia, mental challenges, MS, Autism, or Alzheimer’s. It is time for us to put aside old habits and joyfully embrace a loving attitude.

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development