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Rev. Sharpton to Launch Initiative to Fight Homophobia, HIV/AIDS in Black Community

August 4, 2005

Rev. Al Sharpton has said he plans to help launch a grassroots initiative to fight homophobia in the black community, a problem that has "undoubtedly contributed" to the spread of HIV among black people in the U.S., especially black women, the New York Sun reports. Sharpton's initiative is being organized by Marjorie Fields-Harris, executive director of the National Action Network, Sharpton's civil rights organization. The initiative will consist of forums at public schools and churches aimed at educating the black community about HIV/AIDS "and the dangers of homophobia," according to the Sun. Sharpton said he also will launch public service announcements on radio stations with predominantly black audiences and make the issue a key component of his civil rights work in the coming year. "Historically, the black church has been a sanctuary for black people," Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, said, adding, "But sadly, black churches have not stepped up to the plate on HIV as they have historically stepped up to the plate on other issues." Wilson added, "We should be celebrating the humanity in all of us, rather than diminishing the humanity in some of us" (Watson, New York Sun, 8/3).

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Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
See Also's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV
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10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More News on HIV Prevention in the African-American Community


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