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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

United Religions Initiative and UNAIDS Partner in the Fight Against AIDS.

Press Release – February 27, 2017 – San Francisco, CA. The United Religions Initiative (URI) and UNAIDS are proud to announce they are now working in partnership against HIV and AIDS.

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations (UN) Programme on HIV and AIDS, is a world leader in the global response to AIDS. It brings together the efforts and resources of 10 UN system organizations: ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, WFP, WHO, and the World Bank. The UNAIDS Secretariat is based in Geneva and works in more than 75 countries worldwide. It has adopted a strategy to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

URI is a global, grassroots, interfaith network that builds bridges between people of different religious and cultural traditions, and facilitates interfaith cooperation on projects, such as public health, that benefit whole communities both locally and globally. Many of its grassroots groups specifically target AIDS, such as Society for Awareness & Prevention of HIV/ AIDS, a URI group based in New Delhi, which provides awareness education to sex-workers and migrants, manages counseling centers, and advocates HIV/AIDS education as part of the public health agenda across the Indian subcontinent.

Another example of URI’s ongoing AIDS prevention work is Burundi Women for Peace, a group based in war-torn Burundi, which brings together people from Indigenous, Christian, and Muslim spiritual backgrounds to support African women and children in HIV and AIDS prevention.

The seeds for the URI-UNAIDS partnership were planted at the end of last month, during the African Union Heads of States meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mussie Hailu (Regional Director for Africa and Global Envoy of URI) met with H.E. Mr. Michel Sidibe (Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations) and H.E. Amb. Rosemary Museminali (UNAIDS representative to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa).

Together with UNAIDS, URI looks forward to supporting the global fight against HIV and AIDS, and to improving the health and lives of all people planet-wide.


URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. We implement our mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of our 830 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights. Learn more at

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