Reverend Gideon Byamugisha: HIV and AIDS, Youth, and the Church
As global AIDS experts gathered for the XIX International AIDS Conference, Reverend Gideon Byamugisha, founder of ANERELA+, discussed his experience as a Ugandan priest living with HIV openly since 1992. Having played a lead role in the Church of Uganda’s AIDS Program, Reverend Byamugisha currently serves as the Christian AID Goodwill Ambassador on HIV and AIDS. Byamugisha is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Niwano Peace Prize, for his ministry with children affected by AIDS. He spoke to the theological and practical resources available to restore agency and power to HIV-affected youth enabling them to lead safer, healthier, prosperous, and fulfilling lives. Byamugisha made the case that the health and development risks facing orphans and other youths made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS are priorities issues in today’s African churches.
Reverend Canon Gideon B. Byamugisha is an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Kinkiizi, Uganda and a canon of St Paul's Cathedral, Namirembe and Holy Cross Cathedral-Lusaka, as well as the founder of the Africa Network of
Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS
(ANERELA+). In 1992, he became the first religious leader in Africa to declare
he was HIV positive. Byamugisha is currently serving as Goodwill Ambassador on HIV and AIDS for Christian AID (UK) for Eastern Africa, Sudan, and the Horn. He
also founded the Hope Institute for Transformational Leadership and Development. He has worked as an adviser to World Vision and has traveled internationally to speak about HIV/AIDS, including to a conference at the U.S. White House in December 2002. Byamugisha is the 2009 Winner of the Niwano Peace Foundation Award and Prize.