Patriarch Filaret met with representatives of UNAIDS in Ukraine
On December 8, 2015, in the in Kyiv Patriarchate Synodal Hall Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine Filaret met with representatives of the Joint UN Program on HIV / AIDS in Ukraine - UNAIDS, which contributes to the development and support of the nation-wide response to HIV and combines the efforts of many sectors and partners from government and civil society.
On the part of UNAIDS the meeting was attended by Vinay Saldanha, Regional Director for the Western Europe and Central Asia, Jacek Tyshko Regional Director for Ukraine, Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of the Coordination Council of the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV, Mr. Constantin Calancea, UNAIDS Adviser, Iryna Aheyeva, Director of Communication, Policy and Advocacy of the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV and Fr. Serhiy Dmytriev, Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Department of social service ‘Eleos-Ukraine’ to the Kyivan Patriarchate and Executive Secretary of the Commission for Social Service to AUCCRO.
UNAIDS members represented by Vinay Saldanha thanked Patriarch Filaret for constructive partnership and active role of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kyiv Patriarchate in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
It was also noted that priests of the Kyiv Patriarchate make a significant contribution to the formation of skills of healthy lifestyles and family values in youth and encourage HIV-positive people for further life, showing patriotism and heroism and providing assistance to people living with HIV in combat zones and occupied territories.
Representatives of the Fund expressed hope that this meeting will boost inter-confessional cooperation and partnerships with HIV service organizations at the national and especially at the regional levels and will strengthen existing dialogue between churches and society.
“Christ did not shy away from sinners, and ate and drank with them, but that does not mean that Christ loved sin. He loved the man, but did not like sin,” Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine said. The Church warns of consequences that may be caused by sin.
“The Church is a next stage for people living with HIV. This is an opportunity to be accepted and understood. The main thing is that the priests know about the treatment. To save lives, one needs to know about their HIV status and, if positive, undergo treatment. If the priests will know about HIV, about treatment, they will be able to tell about this way to people who come to church, thus saving many lives,” said Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of the Coordination Council of the Network of People Living with HIV.
Patriarch Filaret blessed Dmytro Sherembey to help sick people. It was reported by the press-center of the Kyiv Patriarchate.