The AIDS Foundation of Chicago on Tuesday announced $120,000 in grants to 12 churches and faith-based organizations as part of its new Faith in Prevention Initiative. The initiative aims to reduce HIV infections and raise AIDS awareness among Chicago's African-American men and women. African-Americans account for about 57% of all new HIV diagnoses among Chicago's adults and adolescents, according to the city's health department.
"Faith-based organizations can be a powerful force in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and confronting the stigma attached to this disease," says the Reverend Doris Green, who is heading up the initiative for AFC. "We were thrilled by the number of churches that submitted grant applications. It was an incredible testament to the growing commitment in the African-American community to address HIV prevention and care issues."
The funding was issued by AFC through a special grant secured by U.S. senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Each of the 12 funded groups will receive $10,000 to support a variety of activities, including HIV outreach and education, HIV prevention ministries, support groups, and awareness events. Groups receiving grant funds include the AIDS Pastoral Care Network, Church of the Open Door/Open Door Center for Community Change, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Fernwood United Methodist's P.E.N. Ministries, Hyde Park Union Church, Learning Center Gospel Chapel/Results Plus Ministries, Liberty Baptist Church, Martin Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Mount Carmel Community Development Corporation, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Wesley United Methodist Church, and West Side Pastor's Coalition for AIDS.