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The Balm in
Gilead holds seventh annual HIV campaign

The Balm in
Gilead holds seventh annual HIV campaign

Organization earmarks June to address HIV through African-American churches.

The Balm in Gilead, a national nonprofit group working to stop the spread of HIV among African-Americans, is holding its seventh annual HIV awareness and testing campaign throughout June. The campaign, titled "Our Church Lights the Way: The Black Church HIV Testing Campaign," urges African-American church leaders to speak about HIV issues, encourage their congregants to seek HIV antibody tests, and promote HIV awareness. The campaign culminates on June 27, National HIV Testing Day.

"The quest to save African-Americans from HIV/AIDS is the civil rights fight for today," said Pernessa Seele, the Balm in Gilead's founder and CEO, in a press statement. "We need the African-American church to once again mobilize and engage the entire black community in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS among our men, women, and children. The strong voice of the black pulpit must speak loud on HIV prevention, which includes informing African-Americans about the importance of HIV testing and counseling."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all new U.S. HIV infections occur among African-Americans. AIDS is the number 1 cause of death for black adults ages 25-44.

For more information about the campaign go online to www.balmingilead.org. (The Advocate)

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