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Our role in supporting faith-based initiatives to insure their success and viability in their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in communities of color

Karen L. Reddick, MA, Center for Minority Health, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, 130 DeSoto St, 125 Parran Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, (412) 624-5665, Kreddick@cmh.pitt.edu, Angela Ford, MSW, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 125 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, Director, Center for Minority Health, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, 125 Parran Hall, 130 Desoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, and Veronica Sansing, BS, Center for Minority Health, University of Pittsburgh, 124 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.

Historically, Black churches have been slow to response to the AIDS epidemic. However, when faith communities did come forward to do HIV/AIDS education and testing, they also needed support and assistance that was sensitive to their unique perspectives and culture. Support traditional AIDS service organizations was unprepared to provide. To address this need, technical and practical support was provided for two local faith-based initiatives who were recipients of Congressional Black Caucus’ funds to link HIV+ African Americans to PA’s Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program (SPBP). This was the churches first effort with an HIV related state funded project and neither church had been involved in any HIV related activities prior to this contract. In the model, the Center served as primary contractor and addressed the individual needs of both initiatives to build their capacity to meet their contractual responsibilities without compromising their abstinence-based beliefs. Both initiatives were successful in linking HIV+ individuals to the SPBP. The projects were able to become the primary contractor in the following contract year. The Center established HIV/AIDS Working Group whereby lay people and professionals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines come together to collaborate on the needs of the community on HIV/AIDS related issues and both subcontractors became members. This association links the projects to others doing similar work and transition the relationship with Center from the formal and structured to one less structure and informal but still supportive.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to

    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Faith Community

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
    Relationship: I'm employed by the University of Pittsburgh at the Center for Minority Health as a Project Director

    Handout (.ppt format, 2955.0 kb)

    HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: African American Health

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA