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Black churches across the nation will have more information on HIV/AIDS, and they have the NAACP to thank. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization developed a manual for church leaders seeking to educated their parishioners.

Pastor Timothy W. Sloan of Houston, expressed concerned over his congregation’s lack of knowledge about the virus, which has become an epidemic in Black communities. Sloan joined a group of pastors put together by the NAACP, to help construct the manual.

The goal of the 61-page work is to take away the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. “Sex is not something church people like to talk about. It’s something they like to do,” remarked Rev. Joseph Smith of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va. Smith also worked on the manual which may raise eyebrows because of the NAACP’s support, but according to Sharon Arline-Bradley, director of the organizations health program, the manual is a necessity. “People look at us as just civil right rights, and what they’re missing is that health is one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time,” she said.

As HIV transmission rates continue to rise in the Black community, the Center for Disease Control has come up with a plan to combat the shocking statistics. A newly approved home HIV rapid results kit, will allow the public to take the test in the comfort of their own home. In addition to the home kits, the CDC is also offering free tests at select drug stores around the country.


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Photo: Black Christian News