Church is 'sorry' for Aids stigma

Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya's Anglican Church has issued a public apology for previously shunning those with HIV/Aids.

"Our earlier approach in fighting Aids was misplaced, since we likened it to a disease for sinners and a curse from God," said Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi.

He was speaking to a group of HIV positive Christian and Muslim clergy.

A BBC reporter in Kenya says there has been lots of church discrimination against those with HIV - some have been excommunicated.

Some Muslims have been killed because of their status, says the BBC's Gladys Njoroge.

Archbishop Nzimbi said the Church would now work to end the stigma associated with Aids.

Ugandan clergyman Gideon Byamugisha, who has lived for 19 years with HIV, says the apology is welcome.

"It's better to be long overdue than never," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

Canon Byamugisha and his Africa Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV/Aids urged political and religious leaders to fight the stigma by publicly disclosing their own HIV status.

He said those with HIV could act as positive role models.