The Secular Medical Forum strongly believes that all public services relating to HIV/AIDS and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) must not be subject to the influence of religious organisations or faith-based motivation. Public policy and funding for HIV/AIDS and STIs incorporates health promotion, including the provision of barrier contraception and instruction in their proper use, information and counselling on reducing the risk of infection, counselling and support for those infected with HIV/AIDS and STIs, partner notification and contact tracing.
The Secular Medical Forum opposes any attempt by religious or faith-based organisations, or individuals acting with religious or faith-based motives, to withdraw, withhold or prevent individuals’ access to HIV/AIDS and STI services. Such services include prevention, health promotion, education, testing and treatment.
The Forum opposes religious or faith-based attempts to misinform others regarding HIV/AIDS and STIs. For example, there is no evidence that abstinence-only programmes are effective and these are certainly irrelevant to a large proportion of people at risk. And, any religious policy that dissuades the use of condoms will render the advocates of those policies complicit in the spread of HIV/AIDS, and they should be challenged accordingly.
Finally, the Forum condemns any religious or faith-based stance that is judgemental or discriminatory against individuals affected by HIV/AIDS or STIs.