The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
Kai Chandler Lois Crenshaw Gary Paul Wright Fortunata Kasege Keith Green Lois Bates Greg Braxton Vanessa Austin Bernard Jackson

U.S. News

Illinois: Small Church Crusades Against AIDS

April 2, 2012

African-American church leaders in Chicago grapple with preaching abstinence until marriage while realizing that not everyone is acting on their message.

The Rev. Dorothy Williams, pastor of Chicago's Bray Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, preaches the gospel, while acknowledging what goes on behind congregants' closed doors. "We're looking at saving lives," said Williams. "We're looking at saving souls, too."

According to 2009 Chicago Department of Public Health statistics, four times as many new AIDS cases were found among African Americans than their white counterparts. This month, a new city initiative began distributing 10 million condoms through nontraditional venues such as dry cleaners and beauty shops, but only 10 churches and faith-based groups accepted the funding and the challenge.

Williams successfully convinced Bray leadership to offer HIV testing. However, they are still debating condom distribution. "A lot of churches are still not open to that ministry," said Williams. "Some of these things people want to keep personal at the cost of hindering people around [them]."

The Rev. Doris Green, director of correctional health and community relations for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, agrees. "I see the devastation in our communities. If [preaching abstinence] had worked, I would be with them. I don't see it working."

Green credits larger African-American churches with reducing the disease's stigma through supporting HIV/AIDS ministries, but says "small struggling churches need to be empowered with information and want to do the work."

Back to other news for April 2012

Adapted from:
Chicago Tribune
03.27.2012; Manya A. Brachear

More From This Resource Center

Magic Johnson Wants You to Know: He Isn't Cured of HIV

Living With HIV? African Americans Share Their Advice

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

See Also's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV
More on African-American Churches and HIV/AIDS

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.