The Rev Canon Gideon B Byamugisha, Christian Aid's goodwill ambassador on HIV and AIDS, has been awarded this year's prestigious Niwano Peace Prize - often viewed as the Nobel Peace Prize of the faith community.
Canon Gideon received the 26th Niwano Peace Prize on 7 May in recognition of his work to uphold the dignity and human rights of people living with HIV.
Canon Gideon, a Ugandan cleric, was the first African religious leader to publicly announce that he was HIV positive. Ever since then, Canon Gideon has worked to raise awareness of HIV, and fight the stigma so often related to it.
Canon Gideon helped to found the International Network of Religious Leaders living with, or affected by, HIV and AIDS (INERELA), one of Christian Aid's key HIV partner organisations.
All around the world, religious leaders have a vital role to play in HIV prevention and care. INERELA encourages people to view HIV as a virus, not a moral issue, and pioneered SAVE, a practical new approach to HIV prevention, which Christian Aid has since adopted.
‘I am humbled to discover that my work and ministry against HIV and AIDS related stigma, shame, denial, discrimination, inaction and mis-action has been noticed and appreciated,’ said Canon Gideon.