NAACP trains Black church leaders about health equity

1.1 million people in the US are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

1.1 million people in the US are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

African-Americans comprise about half of all HIV-positive people in the United States. The NAACP is promoting education that might help halt the trend. It held a forum on Thursday in Manhattan Beach on HIV, health equity, and the black church.

The event, part of NAACP’s California Hawaii State Conference, drew an array of people, including Black pastors from South L.A. “We’ve been in this losing streak for a long time,” one said.

A long-time health care worker from Inglewood also attended. “Everyone thought this was a gay, white disease,” she said. “And I said no, that’s not true.”

Hear more voices from the event in a story from Annenberg Radio News:


HIV Statistics among Black women

HIV Statistics among Black women


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in South LA

By Claire Pires
Annenberg Radio News

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, “In the Meantime” provided free HIV testing and distributed condoms to the community.

image“We spend time in the black community because it’s one of the communities that’s most at risk in the United States. We’re talking about 12% of the population that’s responsible for 40% of the new infections,” said James Vellequette, director of condom-provider Condom Nation.

At the protest, USC student Kai Green rallied the crowd when he spoke of how he stands with the people “who dare to fight and say I am black and gay.”

Local South L.A. resident Vanessa Robinson was more skeptical of the movement because she does not want her son to grow up in “that type of environment,” and says she grew up attending church.

Homosexuality has not always been accepted in the church, but Reverend Russell Thornhill, co-pastor of the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church, urged the crowd to “stand” and support this new pro-gay movement. image

“It’s a call that says that we won’t stand for the transmission of HIV and AIDS in our community,” said Reverend Thornhill.

Members of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and TrueEvolution, Inc. also spoke and urged protestors and listeners to get tested for HIV in the buses behind them.

As they chanted in front of a bus covered in a large poster with “We get tested” printed next to two shirtless men embracing, the protestors waved posters and cheered with honking cars as they advocated to end discrimination against African American gay men.image