Cathedral International Hosts Leadership Summit On HIV/AIDS

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PERTH AMBOY—A Cathedral Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS is scheduled for Saturday, March 13, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Cathedral International, Cornerstone Complex, 205 Smith Street, Perth Amboy.

The forum is in observation of the Balm In Gilead’s National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS which calls for (Black) churches to become the centers for education, compassion and care in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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The conference aims to engage church leadership in dialogue on the AIDS epidemic in New Jersey.  The forum will help leaders to understand the state of the epidemic, the impact of social injustices, the medical advances in managing the virus, and community action necessary for reducing stigma, denial and fear.

From this conference, church leaders can begin addressing the epidemic with their congregations, as many may have members who are infected or affected by this disease.  The event is a collaboration of the Cathedral Cares HIV/AIDS and Sickle Cell Ministry and the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation’s One Conversation campaign that provides public education, HIV prevention and community action activities in faith-based organizations.

HIV surveillance data shows how HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects the Black community and reports that currently there are 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS and more than 500,000 of them are black. In 2006, HIV was the 4th leading cause of death for black men and 3rd for black women ages 25-44. Black women account for the largest share of new HIV infections among women.  Black teens represent only 15% of US teenagers but account for 68% of new AIDS cases.

The Cathedral Cares Resource Center provides information and support for those who are infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.  The center will provides information on AIDS prevention and community action.  Through a series of sessions with Hyacinth AIDS Foundation’s One Conversation, we work to raise awareness and encourage action to address the social crisis caused by the epidemic in New Jersey.

Cathedral International is a non-profit organization celebrating 105 years of relevant outreach to its members and surrounding communities. Since its inception in 1904, the Cathedral International (the historic Second Baptist Church) has played a unique role in shaping the social, cultural and educational discourse of surrounding New Jersey communities. Under the leadership of Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr, the 5,000 member, multi-generational, multicultural church serves the communities of Perth Amboy, Asbury Park and Plainfield. For additional information, log onto www.cathedralinternational.org.


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