Two Possible Futures: Faith Action to End AIDS

September 5, 2019
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Berkley Center Third Floor Conference Room Map

Through today’s decisions and actions, we are making a choice between two futures for the HIV and AIDS epidemic. A remarkable, decades-long global effort has given us the capability to end AIDS as a public health threat. It’s doable, affordable, and would have huge benefits for key populations, women, youth, and our communities. Yet, the global political will to end AIDS is at risk, raising the specter of a major resurgence of the epidemic in the 2020s, with millions of lives at stake.

This symposium focused on the role of religious leaders, communities, and institutions in choosing between the two futures. Participants discussed and articulated the reasons that the interaction between religion and AIDS has sometimes been a barrier to successfully fighting the epidemic. Panelists identified ways that the role of religious actors can be strengthened during the coming decade, through the delivery of HIV services, the reduction of social barriers such as stigma and discrimination, and strong global advocacy about the moral imperative of ending AIDS. They also discussed ways to coordinate the religious response across different traditions. A practical, immediate focal point is active religious engagement in the twenty-third International AIDS Conference in San Francisco in July 2020. 

This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Global Health Initiative, the International Shinto Foundation, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue.


8:30 a.m. | Registration and Breakfast

9:00 a.m. | Welcome and Introductions
Maeve McKean, Global Health Initiative

9:15 a.m. | Opening Comments
Sandra L. Thurman, PEPFAR

9:30 a.m. | Looking Back: How Has Religion Helped and Hurt the Global AIDS Response?
Jesse Milan, AIDS United
Katherine Marshall, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, Georgetown University
David Robinson, independent consultant
Gloria Ekpo, World Vision
Ambassador Mark Lagon, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (moderator)

10:45 a.m. | Break

11:00 a.m | Looking Ahead: Faith-inspired Action to End AIDS
Mercy Niwe, World Bank
Rebecca Blachly, Office of Government Relations, Episcopal Church
Jenny Dyer, The 2030 Collaborative
David Barstow, EMPACT Africa
Francesca Merico, World Council of Churches-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance
Jonathan Quick, Duke Global Health Institute (moderator)

12:15 p.m. | Closing Session

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Related Publications

Event Summary December 1, 2019

Ending AIDS: Faith Actors and Two Possible Futures

This event summary highlights discussions on September 5, 2019 at the Berkley Center on “Two Possible Futures: Faith Action to End AIDS,” drawing on the experience of leaders on HIV/AIDS.
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