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HIV Prevention: A Global Theological Conversation (Gillian Paterson ed., EAA)

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HIV transmission is preventable. HIV and AIDS are treatable. And yet for every two  people starting on antiretroviral treatments, five more become infected. Faith groups, which are close to the lives of communities and their members, should be ideally placed to engage with issues of HIV prevention. Too often, though, the prevention messages coming from organized religion have been ambivalent, moralistic, stigmatizing, or divorced from the realities of people’s lives. What is it about HIV prevention that causes some Christians to spend more time disagreeing with each other than developing sensible, achievable responses? And what can we do about it?

Wide-ranging, open and accessible, this landmark publication addresses those questions head-on. It is the work of thirty-five Christian theologians, from different churches and theological traditions, who have struggled together to achieve a common understanding of the moral, theological and ecclesiological challenges of HIV prevention. Their deliberations and insights have been brought together by the editor, Dr Gillian Paterson, in the profound and insightful reflections which form the subject-matter of Part One.

But ‘agreeing common ground’ does not mean abandoning deeply held convictions. Part Two therefore consists of a series of powerful, often passionate essays by individuals from this group, all internationally known theologians or practitioners, who set out their own distinctive and challenging positions. They include:

  • Dr. Margaret A Farley, Gilbert L Starck Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics at Yale University Divinity School
  • Rev. Johannes Petrus Heath, co-founder of ANERELA+, the African Network of Religious Leaders living with or personally affected by HIV or AIDS
  • Dr. Peter Okaalet, Senior Director for Health and HIV/AIDS Policy at MAP International
  • Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha, initiator of ANERELA+ and Goodwill Ambassador for Sudan, Eastern Africa and the Horn with Christian Aid, UK
  • Dr. Adrian Thatcher, Research Professor in Applied Theology at the University of Exeter, UK
  • Professor Robin Gill, Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology at the University of Kent, UK
  • Rev. Lisandro Orlov, Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Lutheran World Federation Plan of Action on HIV and AIDS and Coordinator of the Ecumenical Pastoral Work on HIV and AIDS in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Part Three proposes a range of practical measures available to churches, their leaders and their members.

Complete Book PDF 2.1 MB (EN, ES, FR)

Book Sections

Introduction PDF
(EN, ES, FR)

Part 1 PDF
 (EN, ES, FR)

Part 2 PDF
(EN, ES, FR)

Part 3 PDF
(EN, ES, FR)


Prophetic discourse in a time of AIDS by Margaret A Farley

The need for comprehensive multi-faceted interventions by Johannes Petrus Heath

Behavior change and the role of the Church: towards reducing and eliminating risk by Peter Okaalet

Risk-increasing context or individual behavior? by Gideon Byamugisha

The virus and the Bible: how living with HIV helps the Church to read it by Adrian Thatcher

Jesus, community compassion and HIV prevention by Robin Gill

Social change and the role of the Church: the people’s resources for understanding and reducing vulnerability by Lisandro Orlov