The Black Church & HIV Initiative Launches Newly Updated Pastoral Resources for Faith Leaders, Empowering Them to Incorporate HIV into Ministry

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative
announced the release of its newly updated pastoral resources for faith
leaders in honor of Minority Health Month. The
Pastoral Brief and the Activity Manual
offer a foundational approach
for faith leaders to address HIV within the Black community from a
social justice perspective.


The Black Church & HIV initiative, a partnership between the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and
Gilead Sciences, Inc. that aims to address the urgent need for action on
the HIV epidemic within the Black community, believes the faith
community is part of the solution, just as it has been in addressing
equity issues affecting African Americans for decades.

The Pastoral Brief is an introduction to The Black Church & HIV,
along with first-hand stories of how faith leaders can preach about HIV
as a social justice issue and impact the lives of those living with HIV.
Complementing the brief is an Activity Manual that provides faith
leaders and lay persons who lead ministries in their church with more
detailed information about HIV, as well as specific recommendations on
activities that combat HIV and AIDS in the African-American community.

“Historically, the Black Church has been instrumental in driving change
on social justice issues,” says Dr. Marjorie Innocent, NAACP’s Senior
Director of Health Programs. “There is a growing need for pastors and
the faith community to help address the alarming rates of HIV among
African Americans. These comprehensive tools will empower pastors and
lay leaders, giving them the resources they need to bring HIV awareness
and prevention into their ministry.”

The African-American community, bearing the heaviest burden of HIV
within the United States, is on the front lines of the fight against
HIV. While they represent 12 percent of the total United States
population, they account for 41 percent of all people living with HIV
and 44 percent of all new infections. Additionally, on average, African
Americans are likely to experience worse health outcomes than any other
racial or ethnic group. Addressing the HIV epidemic is crucial in
lowering these statistics and advancing health equity among African
Americans, who historically have experienced unequal access to
healthcare and been economically and socially disadvantaged, leading to
a disproportionate burden of disease.

The Pastoral Brief and Activity Manual, which are an update to the
original documents released in 2012, are reflective of the initiative’s
learnings over the past five years, as well as current statistics and
positions on the issue. They were developed under the guidance and
support of an Advisory Committee of bishops, ministers and thought
leaders who have worked in HIV ministry for decades.

The timely launch of the Pastoral Brief and Activity Manual allows faith
leaders to incorporate HIV education into their sermons in observance of Minority
Health Month
. This month is dedicated to bringing national attention
to the issue of health disparities that continue to affect racial and
ethnic minorities, including HIV in the black community.

To download a copy of the Pastoral Brief or Activity Manual or learn
more about NAACP’s The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice
Imperative
initiative, visit http://theblackchurchandhiv.org/take-action/.

About The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative

The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative
initiative was created in 2013 as a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Commitment to Action through the NAACP in partnership with Gilead
Sciences, Inc. The initiative joins faith leaders, religious
institutions and community members committed to ending the HIV epidemic
in Black America, while also working to overcome stigma and address HIV
as an issue of social justice. For more information, please visit http://theblackchurchandhiv.org/.

About the NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest
nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United
States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their
communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game
Changer” issue areas here.

Contacts

The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative
Alicia
Elkin, 202-683-1392
aelkin@signalgroupdc.com