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Black Churches Respond to HIV/AIDS

Posted by Ryan Morgan on November 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Latasha and sisters at lake city eventBy: Latasha Robinson On Saturday, November 16, 2013, I, as a Tell Them Ambassador, had the opportunity to assist in bringing a new documentary to my hometown of Lake City, SC. The documentary, The Gospel of Healing Volume I: Black Churches Respond to HIV/AIDS by Paul V. Grant explores faith, health and healing through the lens of HIV/AIDS. The documentary also highlights and addresses questions on how churches can help remove stigma, discrimination and increase access to healthcare for individuals and families directly impacted by HIV/AIDS. I initially viewed this documentary at a film screening in Columbia. I was so moved that I had to find a way to bring the film to my home of Lake City. The film conveys the connection and positive impact that many churches play in the well being of citizens and their families who are infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. The film also depicts churches that serve as an avenue for prevention through education surrounding this disease. To my dismay, many people who are infected feel they have nowhere to turn for support- they can’t turn to their family, friends, spouses or the church. There continues to be a great deal of stigma tied to HIV/AIDS. I feel church is a place that should continue to have an open door policy. One should feel welcome at all times; you should feel welcome on any day and welcome to come as you are, in sickness and in health. Church is the place where many come to seek HOPE and a place many suggest we should ALWAYS keep HOPE alive for all people who seek it - tied in with FAITH and LOVE. I was inspired by the people who attended the Gospel of Healing event. They took in the knowledge that was given, nodding their heads in agreement while viewing the screening. Some asked questions and responded with a willingness to want to move forward in spreading the word, and most importantly some inquired what they can do to be a part of this movement within their own churches and communities! Lastly, many asked, “When will this documentary come back to Lake City, SC?” A big thank you to Tell Them and the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, panelists, local churches, city officials, and community members for making this event possible in Lake City. Did you know? SC currently ranks 8th in the nation for highest AIDS rates. #KnowledgeIsStillPower Latasha is a community activist in Lake City and is spearheading turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in her community.

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