Monday, October 15, 2007

Black clergy, activists, join forces to stop AIDS (FROM EDGE)

by Cody Lyon
EDGE New York City Contributor

More than 100 black ministers, health officials and politicians gathered at the Time Warner Center in New York on Oct. 8 - 9 to discuss ways to address the AIDS epidemic among people of color. The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, the National Medical Association, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Congressional Black Caucus participated in the National Conclave on HIV/AIDS Black Clergy...We are in crisis mode," Bishop T.D. Jakes said. "Our focus right now is saving lives. We can save souls later."

Still, critics charge the Church was slow to respond:
Gil L. Robertson, author of "Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community," praised Butts and others who have shown support for their LGBT congregants with AIDS. But he delivered a scathing indictment of the black church’s overall response to the epidemic.

"African American leaders were absolutely negligent in not stepping into the frontlines in trying to solve this problem," Robertson said.


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