Church dedicated to helping Aids sufferers

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HIV symbol adorns St Bride's Church © JMU Journalism

HIV symbol adorns St Bride’s Church © JMU Journalism

A Liverpool church has honoured World Aids Day with a service dedicated to the cause as well as hosting drop-in sessions for the community.

The service, which took place in St Bride’s Church on Percy Road, included a short film documenting personal stories of HIV sufferers throughout Merseyside over the last 30 years as well as readings written exclusively for the service.

The universally recognised red ribbon has become the symbol for raising awareness and support for those living with HIV and a huge red ribbon had been created and could be seen decorating the front of church.

During the service members of the local community who are currently living with HIV lit candles and asked everyone to join together to pray for better understanding of the disease to help end the stigma attached to a diagnosis and to also remember all those whose lives had been cut short by Aids.

Church warden Martin Randall told JMU Journalism: “Here at St Bride’s we consider ourselves a family, with particular attention being paid to create an inclusive environment for the LGBT community where people can come when they perhaps haven’t felt comfortable in their previous churches.”

Robert Downes, HIV Nurse at Liverpool Community Health told the Liverpool Echo: “The majority of people living with HIV and follow the recommended advice about treatment live healthy lives and have close to normal life expectancies.”

The drop-in session will have specialist HIV nurses on hand to chat to people and help them with any enquiries they may have, with tests taken there and then which simply involve taking a blood sample from the patient’s arm.

About Stevie Pickering, JMU Journalism