HIV & AIDS, Reproductive Health and Pandemics

Promoting HIV competence among churches and theological institutions, addressing the root causes of the pandemic.


Churches are influential institutions because they are deeply rooted in communities around the world. They can be a force for transformation - bringing healing, hope and accompaniment to all people affected by HIV.

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) promotes HIV competence among churches and works with theological institutions to integrate and mainstream HIV into theological curricula as well as to address the root causes of the pandemic.

The programme intentionally involves people living with HIV, people with disabilities, adolescents, youth, women, men, grandparents, sex workers, injecting drug users, prisoners, migrants, sexual minorities and other marginalized groups and ensures that church leaders and theologians engage all those who are usually excluded.

Launched in 2002 as the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa, in response to a call from Christians and churches in Africa to the ecumenical fellowship to journey with them in overcoming the HIV pandemic, the programme has demonstrated the efficacy of linking grassroots, national and regional actors with international decision- and policy-makers.

At the WCC 10th Assembly, the programme was given the mandate to expand beyond Africa and become active in Jamaica, the Philippines and Ukraine, countries where churches have requested that the WCC share its African experiences and expertise.

WCC-EHAIA is among the most dynamic faith initiatives working in sub-Saharan Africa, with extensive global influence through its biblical, theological, ethical and liturgical literature and manuals.

Crosscutting themes, WCC-EHAIA seeks to bring about change through:

  • Contextual Bible studies on the linkages between sexual gender-based violence, HIV, stigma, discrimination, vulnerability, economic inequalities and marginalization,
  • Transformative life-affirming theology and literature on culture, religion, sexuality, positive femininities, masculinities and HIV prevention,
  • Fostering intergenerational communication skills on sex, sexuality, sexual reproductive health education, sexually transmitted infections with adolescents, young people, adults, leaders, professionals and policy influencers and makers in churches, church-owned schools and institutions of higher learning,
  • HIV testing, treatment adherence, faith healing and pastoral accompaniment and support,
  • Mainstreaming HIV, sexual gender-based violence in the curriculum of theological education and theological education by extension networks,
  • Advocacy and activism on HIV as a social justice, human dignity and rights issue and prevention of sexual gender-based violence through “Tamar Campaign: Break the Chains of Silence” and “Thursdays in Black: Towards a World without Rape and Violence.”

The WCC-EHAIA is also available for facilitation and collaboration with health service delivery partners, interfaith networks and councils, civil society, governments and UN agencies.

The WCC-EHAIA works through five sub-regional offices in Africa: Nairobi, Harare, Kinshasa, Lomé and Luanda. 


To get in touch, please contact [email protected]