It’s no secret that HIV/AIDS advocates and the Black church have not always seen eye to eye. However, a new faith-based initiative could create more collaboration between those groups than ever before.
The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and UNAIDS have launched a $4 million two-year initiative to strengthen the capacity of faith-based organizations to respond to HIV/AIDS. The effort will focus on five areas: collecting, analyzing and disseminating data; strengthening leadership and advocacy; addressing stigma and discrimination; improving the provision of HIV-related services; and increasing demand for HIV services and ensuring that people remain in care.
“Faith has played a critical role in the trajectory of the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said Phill Wilson, president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “This initiative helps us expand the engagement of faith-based organizations, including those in the U.S., in efforts that are aligned with the UNAIDS and various efforts to end the pandemic.”