WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 16 Black men and 1 in 30 Black women will be infected with HIV; and
WHEREAS, of the more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States, nearly half are African-Americans, which only represent 12%-13% of the United States population; and
WHEREAS, AIDS is the leading cause of death among Black women ages 25-34 and the second leading cause of death in Black men ages 35-44; and
WHEREAS, HIV/AIDS cases are rising among youth and seniors over the age of 50; and
WHEREAS, the HIV/AIDS crisis is not limited to the homosexual community, but the entire community as a public health crisis; and
WHEREAS, the Black faith institution, whether church, mosque or other defined has been a driving force for civil rights in the Black community for generations and should take a stand to address this problem as a state of emergency; and
WHEREAS, Black faith leaders have historically been called upon to lead by examples as champions for justice and social issues insuring key messages are shared from the pulpit and in outreach ministries; and
WHEREAS, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS has committed their mission to support Black clergy and the NAACP in their efforts to increase education and screening opportunities for their respective parishioners and greater communities they serve.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP fully supports the H.R. 1964 National Black Clergy for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS Act in the 111th Congress sponsored by Representative Charles Rangel; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all NAACP units are encouraged to align their local units with an affiliate of NBLCA, Balm in Gilead or other faith leaders addressing HIV; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will commit to mobilize and provide technical assistance to faith leaders serving Black communities to address HIV and AIDS.