Report: World Aids Day 2011 Event hosted by EAGA



To commemorate World AIDS Day, the Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Gospel Academy (EAGA) dedicated their entire rehearsal session to raising awareness of the disease and to discussing issues surrounding HIV and AIDS.

Mrs Linda Mashonganyika, a Research Nurse based at the Royal Infirmary in Leicester, along with Andrew Bannister a victim and Celia Fisher, Sexual Health Promotion Coordinator, from Leicestershire AIDS Support Services (LASS) were the leaders of the night’s presentation and discussion on the reality of HIV and AIDS.

The night began with the choir ministering ‘My Help’, led by the young Sister Antonia Whyte 9 years old.

The presentation commenced with an explanation about the mechanism and action of HIV in the human body and how it causes AIDS. Also the stigma and stereotypes that HIV and AIDS have had since its discovery, as well as common perceptions that are associated with HIV positive individuals.

A fiery indignation from Mr Andrew Riley on the origin of HIV propelled the rest of the night into a completely different atmosphere. He declared that HIV was a man made and people were deliberately infected to deliver on America and the West’s agenda to control the world poor population and that the cure for AIDS does indeed exist. This sparked many more questions from the audience, leading to an emotive question session.

After the emotive question session, Andrew Bannister a volunteer from LASS who is HIV positive delivered a detailed moving testimony of being told of his HIV status and how he has handled the situation. He not only fell into depression but the stigma and discrimination he faced from family had a grave impact on his emotionally. Now three years after being diagnosed, Andrew is doing a lot better and must be commended for his confidence and passion to educate the public on HIV and AIDS and that it is more common than most of us think. After Andrew finished telling the audience about his personal encounter with HIV and AIDS, the official World AIDS Day had come to a close. Once Andrew and Celia had left, EAGA continued on the controversial discussion on AIDS, focusing more on the media’s and pharmaceutical companies’ motives and involvement in the matter. A very controversial video was played, entitled ‘Pain in my heart’. This documentary appears to highlight the HIV/AIDS crisis in Zimbabwe. However, after hearing that he had stolen money he had received for this particular project, the issue of integrity when doing projects in Africa was magnified by this video.

World AIDS Day hosted by EAGA was a great success. Not only were the members educated and informed of issues surrounding HIV and AIDS in our society, but the healthy question session broke the mould for some who blindly believed what is portrayed by the mainstream media.