Local African American pastors will join several groups on March 2 to launch the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.
The campaign kicks off at 11:30 a.m. in First AME Church, 1522 14th Ave.
The pastors will be accompanied by African Americans Reach and Teach Health Ministry, Public Health-Seattle & King County and local community partners who will sign the "HIV Church Outreach: Faith Community Covenant" for King County.
This effort to increase HIV/AIDS outreach and education in King County connects local African American churches and clergy to the Balm in Gilead's national campaign that includes over 10,000 churches. The combined effort is the largest HIV/AIDS awareness campaign targeting African Americans in the United States.
The campaign reflects strategies cited by President George W. Bush in his recent State of the Union address for stopping the spread of AIDS. One of the strategies included African American churches.
"We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closelywithAfrican American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America," the president said.
Campaign participants also will include Maxine Hayes, M.D., Washington State Health Officer; Karen Hartfield, HIV prevention planner for Public Health-Seattle & King County; the Rev. Carey Anderson, pastor of First AME Church; the Rev. Amos Landry, pastor of Peoples Institutional Baptist Church; and other members of the faith and health care communities.
The HIV Church Outreach: Faith Community Covenant is available on line at www.aarth.org.