Religious leaders have been cautioned by the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) against spreading false information that they can treat HIV via prayers.
The council said the disease’s treatment hasn’t been established and that misguiding their followers would harm the nation.
The council warned that the claims might discourage patients from taking ARV medication, weakening the state’s efforts to curb the virus.
The organization has urged religious leaders to rally their congregations to combat the pandemic by addressing the social and cultural challenges faced by those living with HIV/AIDS.
A narrative of a young male patient who tested positive at first but then tested negative after prayers prompted clarification, which occurred a few days later.
“There is currently no hospital-administrable treatment that has been proven effective. Serious problems arise when HIV medication is interrupted, including the risk of permanent organ damage. For this reason, we call on religious leaders to join forces with their congregations and other allies in the fight against the prejudice and stigma that persist in spite of the HIV response’s successes.”