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People of faith pray for healing of HIV/AIDS

caines | 3/7/2013, 4:30 a.m.

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National week observation is March 3-9

Churches, worship centers, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based organizations across the country have been encouraged to pause for a moment of prayer for the healing of HIV/AIDS during one of their worship services that takes place between March 3-9, which is the National Week of Prayer for the healing of AIDS. Locally, several Black churches have been standing in agreement, praying to bring awareness and increase the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Whenever there is a crisis in the Black community, the one institution that can reach the masses of Black folk has always been the Black church, according to Rev. Darryl K. Baxter, chairperson of Churches United For HIV/AIDS Prevention. And if the church can lend its voice to the cause of HIV/AIDS education, it will certainly reduce numbers. With the Black churchs strong influence being considered, The Churches United for HIV/AIDS Prevention kicked off their observation of National Week of Prayer for the healing of AIDS. There are a total of 12 events that have already taken place and some that will occur during the remainder of the week. Those events include: A community outreach held at Bethel Faith Apostolic Temple on 17th Avenue and 71st Street; a pastoral breakfast which took place at Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church; and a concert that will be held on Friday at 8 p.m., called Sing For A Cure. Baxter said that having the church involved in HIV/AIDS awareness will help the community understand that its alright to talk about HIV/AIDS at home with your children and at work, he added that it will also show people that it is OK to get tested. Rapid testing will continue to be provided at every event and the churches are prepared in case anyone happens to test positive for HIV or AIDS. Well be able to link them immediately to a counselor and let them know that its not the end of the world, Baxter said. We will certainly walk with them and make sure that they are covered and well connected with the many resources that are available in Dade County. Baxter said a couple of the goals of the Churches United For HIV/AIDS Prevention is for pastors and leaders to have a greater urgency and awareness of how important it is to continue HIV/AIDS education throughout the year and to test 200 people. Get tested so that you can be in control of your life, in control of your destiny and continue to contribute to the growth of our society, Baxter said. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com