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U.S. News

New York: Forum Breaks Silence on AIDS -- Pastors Talk About Virus Education and Address Their Own Perceptions

June 23, 2010

A recent summit of community organizations and some 20 congregations drafted a manifesto for addressing HIV/AIDS in the Syracuse community.

The goal of the meeting, sponsored by the Syracuse Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, was to attack the "stigma and shame" that accompany HIV, said the Rev. Chauncey Brown, leader of the commission.


The summit was responding, in part, to a spike in HIV cases among black and Latino youth in Onondaga County. Among the suggestions were HIV/AIDS education in Syracuse public schools and a push for HIV testing for those entering or leaving the prison system.

Local black clergy are beginning to look at HIV/AIDS as a health issue rather than a moral issue, Brown said. He called upon local service agencies to understand the perspective of clergy as well. "For so long, nobody has been sensitive on either side," he said.

One summit participant represented both constituencies. H. Bernard Alex directs FACES, an HIV/AIDS outreach and education program, and serves as pastor of Victory Temple Fellowship Church.

"My greatest desire is for people to be inspired to share information -- accurate information," Alex said.

Back to other news for June 2010

Adapted from:
Post-Standard (Syracuse)
06.19.2010; Maureen Nolan

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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

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