Why Religious Sisters?

Stand in solidarity with African Sisters

Why Religious Sisters?

The AACSS also aims to bring women religious from around the world to stand in solidarity with African Sisters who would guide the work of the AACSS in response to HIV and AIDS within the Sub-Sahara.

The AACSS focuses on women in general because throughout the sub-Sahara women make up 60% of the HIV positive adults. They are more readily stigmatized than men and bear a disproportionate share of the burden of the pandemic – both as vulnerable to infection and as primary caregivers to those who are infected.

Women in the sub-Sahara face broad issues that transcend national boundaries and local cultures and continue to underlie the spread of HIV and AIDS. They need to understand how these broad factors of culture, custom and religion affect the process to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS.

The AACSS focuses its conferences primarily upon women religious for two reasons:

  • The Sisters are greatly respected by the people to/with whom they minister. They are therefore a key group that needs to be empowered so that they can speak more knowledgeably about HIV and AIDS and reach out to other women with strength, care, increased information and hope.
  • The quality of trust that is essential for women to address the deeply held attitudes that presently stigmatize people can be achieved more easily with the bonding that exists between Sisters based upon their shared faith and religious values.
  • The relationship among religious Sisters and their Communities are rich and broad sources of information, contacts and human resources.