GA 2010: Church leaders urged to get HIV test, set an example

The 219th General Assembly is encouraging all Presbyterians, especially those who are clergy and church leaders, to know their HIV status – saying that testing will make them a “visible example” and will “help eliminate the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS testing.”

            The assembly voted today (July 9) to approve a report on HIV testing and also to encourage testing for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Free, confidential testing was offered at this assembly, and the assembly considered the findings of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, which the General Assembly in 2008 instructed to prepare information on a comprehensive HIV/AIDS policy.

            Other issues the assembly considered July 9 is the report of the its Health Issues Committee included a statement regarding violence against pregnant women, and an overture that was amended to say that women should not be “forced or coerced” regarding decisions to end or continue a pregnancy.