Representatives of various churches in Bangladesh participated in a capacity building training organized by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) affirmed their commitment to combat HIV and AIDS through awareness building programmes at the congregational levels in the country. The participants were engaged with interactive Bible studies, group activities for building awareness among rural folks and also mapping resources to respond to the epidemic.

Organized by the CCA in collaboration with the National Council of Churches in Bangladesh (NCCB) as part of CCA’s special programme Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA), the workshop was held at the Hope Centre, Savar, Dhaka, Nov 3 – 7. Rev David A Das, General Secretary of NCCB affirmed that churches in Bangladesh have to be equipped to respond to the need of the people, and the church members have to be well prepared with knowledge, information and resources.

Although Bangladesh is considered as a low prevalence country for HIV infection, the increasing trend indicates that the country remains extremely vulnerable to an HIV epidemic. Participants expressed a major concern that in a country where limited access to voluntary counseling and testing services, only very few Bangladeshi’s are aware of their HIV status.