The NAACP’s California State Conference will host an HIV training for senior faith leaders at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Manhattan Beach Marriott, 1400 Parkview Ave. The training is part of The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative Initiative, the NAACP’s health program designed to train black church leaders on how to educate their parishioners about HIV prevention and screening. Conducted by the NAACP’s National Health Department, the training will enlist faith leaders as change agents to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which disproportionately affects the African American community.
African-Americans represent approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for almost 46 percent of people living with HIV in 2008, and constituted an estimated 44 percent of new infections in 2009. Eliminating this disease will take bold action from faith leaders who engage weekly with millions of African American parishioners attending their churches. More than 119,000 people in California are living with HIV/AIDS, according to data collected by the California Department of Public Health. African Americans constitute nearly 18 percent.
The NAACP, in partnership with Gilead Sciences, recently announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to expand The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative program to the 30 cities that account for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s HIV epidemic. Los Angeles is a part of the pilot program.— NAACP press release.