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What Can I Do?

The HIV/AIDS Ministry and Messages of Gideon Byamugisha

This video, designed to combat HIV-related stigma, shame, discrimination and denial in churches, features Canon Gideon Byamugisha from Uganda - the first African priest to disclose his HIV-positive status. Canon Gideon talks about the need for his fellow Christians to do away with judgemental attitudes towards HIV-positive people, and instead to offer them love and support. ‘Churches need to spread hope, not fear,’ he says. He goes on to tell how his wife died of an HIV-related illness and that he too found out he was HIV-positive. He accepted his status and disclosed it to his family and friends, and also to his Bishop. Later he married a woman who was also HIV-positive.

Below you can view the full video:

Canon Gideon speaks on the video about the difficulty he has faced when buying condoms, because people usually associate condoms with immorality. He describes how he has turned these situations into impromptu AIDS education sessions.

Canon Gideon Byamugisha speaks at the launch of What can I do? in Kampala, Uganda.

With the support of his family and friends, his church and World Vision International, Canon Gideon has taken his unique HIV/AIDS ministry to many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to Asia, Europe and North America. He is driven by the conviction that HIV/AIDS is both a preventable and a manageable illness - providing the barriers of stigma, shame, denial, discrimination and ignorance can be broken down. He wants to encourage others, especially religious leaders, to get this important message across to the general public.

The video is 49 minutes long and is divided into short segments on topics such as ‘Coping with stigma’, ‘Why be tested for HIV?’ and ‘Challenges for the church’. It is accompanied by a 48-page Facilitator’s Guide, to enable groups to explore in greater depth the issues which it raises.

To view and download the 48-page Facilitator’s Guide to this video, CLICK HERE.

The production and distribution of the video and the Guide are supported financially by Christian Aid, World Vision, The World Bank and Lutheran World Federation.

Available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Swahili.


DVD: duration 49 minutes; Facilitators Guide 48 pages; produced 2004.