On July 8, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released ”The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative,” a manual that reframes HIV/AIDS as a social justice issue for church leaders. The manual is the organizations response to the disproportionate impact that HIV/AIDS is having on the Black community and it outlines the role the Black Church can play.
“When the NAACP observes disparities disproportionally affecting one group of people more than others, whether it is poverty, education or health, we must question if the root causes are associated with social injustices,” said Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the NAACP. “We are calling faith leaders to action. We need them to dispel the myths about HIV and preach about HIV as a social justice issue and then commit to join with the NAACP for ongoing activism.”
“The NAACP and Black Churches have a duty to ensure our communities are provided with equal access to care, including opportunities for testing, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.
In the United States, Blacks are more likely to become infected, less likely to know they have the disease and more likely to die from HIV/AIDS than any other race. If Black America was its own country, it would rank 16th in the world in the number of people with HIV. One out of every 16 Black males will be diagnosed with HIV over the course of his lifetime; similarly, one out of every 32 Black females will be diagnosed with HIV.
Through project REACH, LIAAC is focusing our efforts on reaching the communities of color, and supporting the manual’s message of having everyone know their status and get tested. Click here for more information on the Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative.