(Black PR Wire)
The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative recently 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 is a partnership between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. to address the urgent need for action on the HIV epidemic within the Black community. The partners believe 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 Blacks 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.
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/.