There was only one session on the Faith-based Roadmap for Monday: “Many Women, One Voice.” I didn’t get to the session at the United States Conference on AIDS in Chicago where the video was screened last November, and I heard nothing but great things from the folks who saw it, so I wanted to be sure not to miss it again.
Before I got to the Global Village Screening Room for “Many Women, One Voice,” I attended a couple of regular conference sessions. The early session on “Health Disparities and the U.S. MSM Epidemic” yielded a surprise bit of information. Somewhere buried in the data that included employment status and income level and sexual risk and a host of other variables tracked during an HIV prevention research study focused on black men (HPTN 061) was an item about religious affiliation. Apparently, black men living with HIV are significantly more likely to have a religious affiliation than HIV-negative black men. I’m not sure how to interpret that tidbit of information, but I thought it was interesting.
Robert Newells is the founder of Healing Faith, the HIV prevention program of the Life Care Ministry at Imani Community Church (Oakland, CA). In addition to serving on the Board of Advisors to the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations of the Bay Area, Rob works intentionally with and through African American faith communities to reduce stigma and provide culturally relevant HIV information to all Oakland residents.