For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights held a groundbreaking meeting of evangelical Christian health professionals who support comprehensive HIV prevention on April 24-25, 2006 in Washington, DC. The meeting brought together prominent doctors, nurses, and public health workers who are also members of a growing US religious movement to address the global AIDS crisis. As the AIDS epidemic rages, many Christians have decided that preserving life is their most important priority, and that they must support AIDS prevention strategies that help save lives, including abstinence and fidelity education programs, access to condoms, and strategies to combat poverty and violence against women. Summit participants, all of whom are engaged in HIV/AIDS care domestically or internationally, were hopeful about bridging the political divide that exists on Capitol Hill regarding HIV prevention. They met with Congressional offices on both sides of the aisle to deliver their message that the moral approach to HIV prevention is the one that saves the most lives.
Conference participants included Bishop Kevin Dowling, the renowned Catholic bishop from South Africa who has called on the Vatican to reevaluate its position on condoms in the age of AIDS (selected by TIME Magazine as one of its 2005 European Heroes), and Rebecca Kuhn, MD, an HIV physician and prominent evangelical Christian from Long Beach, California who works with conservative Christian churches (including Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA) on HIV issues. Holly Burkhalter, US Policy Director for Physicians for Human Rights and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, also offered her insights on building consensus on AIDS prevention in Washington.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.