Voluntary counseling and testing is a very good prevention strategy and indicator to know the actual number of people living with HIV and AIDS. It knows your HIV status.
Individuals who know their HIV status are in a better position to protect themselves from infection; and if they are HIV positive, from infecting another. Someone who is HIV positive can be provided with information and support to enable them to live positively. People who are ignorant of their HIV status or who are not cared for, can be sources of new HIV infection.
Empowerment of people with knowledge and skills especially women, protect themselves against HIV infection. It is not possible to make informed decisions about any aspect of HIV or sexual behavior without access to all the relevant facts. Inaccurate information and ignorance are two of the greatest factors driving HIV and AIDS related stigma and discrimination.
Correct, non-judgmental information needs to be disseminated to all; inside and outside of churches. This will assist people to live positively - whatever their HIV status - and to break down barriers which HIV has created between people and within communities. Education also includes information on good nutrition, stress management, and the need for physical exercise.
The acronym "SAVE" provides the added benefit that all religious and non-religious groups can identify with the fact that we want to save lives through multiple prevention strategies for instance, some denominations would not feel comfortable with the promotion or use of condoms and others might find it difficult to promote and distribute sterile needles to injecting drug users. But everyone will be able to identify with some of the strategies included in the "SAVE" acronym.
Let us "SAVE"!
Source: "Channels of Hope" workshop manual.