Responding more effectively to HIV and AIDS

A new PILLARS guide, designed to help communities respond to the challenges of HIV and AIDS. This book helps people to discuss their feelings openly and learn from each other. It challenges unhelpful attitudes and stigma by providing information about HIV infection, HIV tests, harmful traditional practices, healthy eating and medicinal drugs. It looks at the role of the church and the community in supporting adults, children and carers affected by HIV and AIDS. It contains a number of useful participatory Bible studies about sexual behaviour, love, suffering and caring for children.

Single copies are available free of charge for organisations working in the South. For organisations in the North, copies cost £5 (US $9 or € 7). Order from Tearfund Resources Development, PO Box 200, Bridgnorth, WV16 4WQ UK

Building Blocks: Africa-wide briefing notes

This series of six booklets is designed to help communities and local organisations to support children orphaned or made vulnerable as a result of HIV and AIDS. They cover topics such as health and nutrition, education, economic support and social inclusion. They contain over 100 case studies from across Africa. They are available free of charge in English, French and Portuguese.

To obtain an order form, send an e-mail to or visit their website,
International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Queensberry House, 104-106 Queen’s Road, Brighton, BN1 3XF UK

Parrot on my shoulder

This illustrated book provides activities and advice to help people who want to work effectively with children, educating them about HIV and AIDS. It includes ice-breakers, energisers, ideas for group work, drama, role play, painting and drawing. It can be obtained free of charge from the Alliance website or from Alliance Publications (address above).

Stepping Stones

A training manual and workshop video produced by Action Aid on HIV and AIDS, gender issues, communication and relationship skills. The workshop helps individuals and their communities to change their behaviour through the ‘stepping stones’ which the various sessions provide. Both are available in English and French (the video is also available in Luganda or Swahili) from: TALC, PO Box 49, St Albans, Herts, AL1 5TX, UK Email:

Positive parenting

This set of nine excellent books is the response of Scripture Union and Family Impact to the needs of married couples, parents and young people. They are committed to promoting wholesome relationships, healthy marriages and strong family life. The books provide practical advice for parents from a biblical perspective. Each book has a group study guide at the end. The themes covered include: Confident children, Praying for your children and Sensible sexuality The pack costs £10 including postage (Ksh 1,000 if ordered within Kenya). Order from: Family Impact Africa, PO Box 7261, Eldoret, Kenya

HIV, health and your community: a guide for action

by R Granich and J Mermin

This is a manual produced by AMREF to help people dealing with the impact of HIV in their communities and is available from TALC in English (address above).

What religious leaders can do about HIV/AIDS

UNAIDS and UNICEF have worked with religious leaders from various faith communities to prepare this workbook. It provides basic facts about HIV and AIDS and includes suggestions on how religious leaders can help to reduce the spread of HIV through teaching and challenging unhelpful cultural practices and beliefs. It also looks at their role in reconciliation within families and communities divided by HIV and AIDS.

Available free of charge from: UNICEF, 333 East 38th Street, New York 10016, USA

The Truth about AIDS

by Patrick Dixon

This is a new edition with 570 pages, packed with useful information, case studies and practical ideas. It contains medical facts, ideas for community action, a practical Christian response and biblical teaching. It also contains information from a number of other publications at the back.

Copies cost £1.50 plus postage and are also available free of charge for bulk orders in developing countries from: ACET, PO Box 46242, Ealing, London, W5 2WG, UK

Auntie Stella

Auntie Stella is a great resource designed for use with older children. It voices the concerns of young people about HIV and AIDS, and takes the form of picture cards. First young people share their concern. A series of talking points let young people discuss their views. Then they can look at Auntie Stella’s advice. Here’s one example.

Dear Auntie Stella
I am very worried about this AIDS. Two years ago my Uncle’s wife died. Then he came to live with us. Now he is very ill and my mother told me he has got AIDS. He has lost so much weight and is looking very bad. He stays in bed all day. Now I am worried that I might catch the disease because he doesn’t have his own plate or toilet and I often help my mother to help him. Please tell me what I should do, because I am worried that if I stay around him and breathe the same air I will also get this illness. Auntie, should I move out

Talking points

  • Are there many people in your community who are sick with AIDS? Who do they live with? Who looks after them?
  • Is Petronella right to be afraid about getting AIDS from her uncle? How big is the risk? Can she do anything to protect herself?
  • What can Petronella’s friends and neighbours do to help her uncle and her family? Who else can help?

Dear Petronella

I will start by answering your last question. Don’t worry – there is no need for you to move out. You are in no danger. Now your uncle is so ill, he needs companionship and help.

There are only three ways a person can get the HIV virus that leads to AIDS: by having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV; by using infected needles or blades; or from mother to child during birth or breastfeeding.

You will NOT get the HIV virus from sharing plates, towels or toilets, or even sleeping in the same room. There is a small chance you can be infected if you have a cut or sore on your hands, and touch fresh blood from someone with HIV. To be extra safe, protect your hands with a piece of plastic or paper if you are cleaning up anything with blood or body fluids in it. Always wash your hands and dirty bedding and clothes in soapy water. Use bleach, like Jik, if you want.

Looking after someone who is sick is often hard. It’s important for your family to get some support. There are organisations and people in most areas who can help. They give medical help, advice, and can talk to you about your own worries and difficulties. Sometimes they also assist with food and school fees.

So, remember: your uncle needs your help and compassion. Do not be afraid.

Auntie Stella

Action points

  • In most families, the women are responsible for looking after a sick person. What role do you think men and young people can play? Make a list of the things you can do to help.
  • Find out which organisations, churches or clinics in your area help families who look after people with AIDS. Does everyone know about them? How can you spread the information? Do any of these organisations need volunteers?

Auntie Stella is available from:
Training and Research Support Centre, 47 Van Praagh Ave, Harare, Zimbabwe
or through TALC (UK) from February 2005 

Some useful websites