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Balm in Gilead

13th Annual Black Church Week of Prayer for Healing of AIDS
March 3-9, 2002

November 19, 2001

In its effort to mobilize Black churches to become centers for AIDS education and compassion, The Balm in Gilead is sponsoring the 13th Annual Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, March 3-9, 2002. This effort has become the nation's largest AIDS awareness campaign targeting the African-American community.

Health State of Emergency

This year, during the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, African-American church leaders at both the national and local level will call for a national health state of emergency regarding AIDS in their communities. Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 1999, more African Americans were reported with AIDS than any other racial/ethnic group. The rate is more than twice the rate for Hispanics and eight times greater than for whites.

According to Pernessa Seele, CEO and founder of The Balm in Gilead, the AIDS epidemic has reached a health state of emergency "among Black people living in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean." Recently, with more funding from CDC, The Balm in Gilead expanded its work to engage churches to address HIV in Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa.

Registration and Resources

Beginning in January, The Balm in Gilead will distribute Church HIV/AIDS Resource kits to participating churches. Churches are encouraged to call early (888-225-6243) and register for the Week of Prayer and reserve the free information resource kit.

For More Information

For more information about the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, call The Balm in Gilead at 888-225-6243 or visit

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This article was provided by National Minority AIDS Council. Visit NMAC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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