NAACP and Gilead Sciences Announce Commitment to Action at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting to Expand Faith-Based

  NAACP and Gilead Sciences Announce Commitment to Action at Clinton Global
  Initiative Annual Meeting to Expand Faith-Based HIV/AIDS Program

      Program to Train Black Church Leaders in 30 U.S. Cities to Educate
           Parishioners on HIV Screening, Treatment and Prevention

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- September 25, 2013

Yesterday, onstage at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting,
the NAACP and its partner, Gilead Sciences, announced a joint CGI Commitment
to Action to enlist faith leaders as change agents to address the disparate
impact of HIV/AIDS on the African American community. Over the next five
years, this unique partnership will expand its pilot program, The Black Church
and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative, to reach the 30 cities that account
for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s HIV epidemic.

“The Black Church and the NAACP have been partners in the struggle for social
justice for more than a century. Today, our fight is against a growing
HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately impacts the lives of African
Americans,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of
Directors. “For years, many felt that a discussion about HIV/AIDS had no place
in African American houses of worship. However, the Black Church remains the
cornerstone of our community and must be a critical voice and partner in
helping to combat the HIV crisis.”

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic is not just a medical issue, it is a social justice
issue,” stated Shavon Arline-Bradley, Senior Director of NAACP Health
Programs. “HIV has increasingly attacked the African American community for
the last three decades, leaving us with the highest rates of HIV and AIDS in
the country. Our program, The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice
Imperative, serves as a tool in the fight against HIV by giving faith leaders
the resources they need to tackle this crisis in their churches.”

The program focuses on three strategies: providing local trainings for pastors
and faith leaders in the Black Church, obtaining formal resolutions from the
mainline denominations to incorporate HIV as a social justice issue into
Church activities, and facilitating the integration of HIV-focused coursework
into required curricula of historically Black seminaries. Specifically, the
program will:

  *Conduct 45 trainings across the 30 cities that make up nearly two thirds
    of the U.S. HIV epidemic across 17 states and the District of Columbia;
  *Help secure formal resolutions from seven of nine historically Black
    denominations to engage pastors in advocacy about HIV as a social justice
    issue;
  *Engage with 10 predominantly African American theological seminaries and
    integrate HIV materials into required curricula into five; and
  *Train new full-time staff members dedicated to the initiative.

In the United States, African Americans bear the greatest burden of HIV, with
the rate of new infections eight times that of whites. At the same time,
African Americans are also the most connected to faith communities, with as
many as 20 million congregants regularly attending church.

"HIV has become an epidemic in the Black community that can no longer be
ignored. Faith leaders must be called to action," stated Dr. Timothy Sloan,
Senior Pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Humble, Texas. "I have
come to realize that not dealing with HIV is an act of pastoral
irresponsibility. I am happy to be working with NAACP and Gilead Sciences to
change the tide of this epidemic. HIV is in the church and the church must
work to address it."

NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largestnonpartisan
civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the
world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can
read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areashere.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and
commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The
company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from
life-threatening diseases worldwide. Headquartered in Foster City, California,
Gilead has operations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative
(CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes
global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s
most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than
150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs,
heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the
media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are
already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180
countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued
at $73.5 billion.

Contact:

NAACP
Michelle Nealy, 443-562-4233
mnealy@naacpnet.org
@naacppress
 
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