It is easy to see “who” the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) is, from its name: it is a network of Jesuits and their co-workers in sub-Saharan Africa, who are somehow involved in the ministry of AIDS care and HIV prevention.
The Jesuits have long been responding to the challenges thrown up by HIV/AIDS in Africa. But it was only in 2002 that the continental Jesuit leadership – the Jesuit Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) – identified AIDS as a shared priority and created AJAN to coordinate its struggle against the pandemic.
Since then, AJAN has worked hard to support the wide and diverse range of initiatives by Jesuits and their co-workers in AIDS ministry; to develop best practices; and to encourage the development of new programmes. AJAN is coordinated by a team headed by the AJAN Director, Fr Paterne Mombé SJ, in AJAN House in Kangemi, a very poor settlement on the outskirts of Nairobi.
AIDS is no longer considered to be an emergency, and appears to be sliding down the agenda of international priorities. But we are only too aware that the pandemic remains a threat to millions of people, families and communities across sub-Saharan Africa, and are determined to continue doing our utmost to be with those who are affected, to make sure they have all they need to live life to the full, and to prevent the further spread of the pandemic.