Thursday, October 20, 2011
Three HIV Patients dies after church declared they are healed of HIV
The women died after attending churches in London where they were encouraged to stop taking the antiretroviral drugs in the belief that God would heal them, their friends and a leading HIV doctor said.
Responding to the BBC question on the issue, Lord Fowler, the former health minister responsible for the famous AIDS awareness campaign of the 1980s, condemned the practice.
"It's just wrong, bad advice that should be confronted," said the Tory peer, who chaired last month's House of Lords committee into HIV.
Jane Iwu, 48, from Newham, east London,described one case, saying: "I know of a friend who had been to a pastor. She told her to stop taking her medication - that God is a healer and has healed her."
"This lady believed it. She stopped taking hermedication. She passed away," said Ms Iwu, who has HIV herself.
Meanwhile, the directorof a leading HIV research centre in east London said she had dealt with a separate case in which a person with HIV died as a result of advice from a pastor.
"I've only seen that once, but it has happened," said Prof Jane Anderson, director of the Centre for the Study of Sexual Health and HIV, in Hackney.
"We see patients quite often who will come having expressed the belief that if they pray frequently enough, their HIV will somehow be cured," she added.