Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-08-05
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Webinar focuses on Blacks and HIV
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Margo Anderson

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

On Sept. 29, Health HIV and the Black AIDS Institute hosted a webinar on ways to involve the Black community in the discussion of HIV. The webinar consisted largely of questions posed to the Rev. Keron R. Sadler, health programs manager at the NAACP, and Pastor Darren W. Phelps, senior pastor and founder of Bethel Christian Church in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Rose, program coordinator at the Black AIDS Institute, began the conversation with HIV demographics. Rose said, "We know that the epidemic affects Black people from pretty much every risk category." In 2010, Black individuals made up 13 percent of the U.S. population and 44 percent of new HIV infections.

The webinar focused largely on the relationship between the Black community and local churches. Sadler said, "If you think about the civil—rights movement, the NAACP and the Black church have always been a phenomenal partner together."

The speakers noted the importance of working with the entire person. Phelps said, "We are also looking at mental health and … looking at family support and the linkage of care that goes even into relationships. … Balancing all of that with your faith and how you see God and not seeing yourself as an outcry or an outcast, all of that helps us in the Free Indeed ministry."

The speakers also discussed several challenges, including the taboo nature of HIV. Sadler said, "In the Black community, HIV still just doesn't seem to be a topic of discussion … there's so much stigma that is associated with HIV." Phelps said, "You have many of the leadership that are also on the low who have gone without being tested themselves."

And some communities are stigmatized more than others. Said Phelps, "We work with sex workers and we deal with persons who are coming out of prison and sometimes that continuum of care is not there at the level that we would hope it to be."

Another challenge is the general lack of knowledge. Phelps said, "This is not just picking up a packet … but how do you live? How do you deal with it? What's out there for us."

Phelps also talked about teaching by doing. He said, "Not only did we want to talk about it. … We wanted to be about the change." One of the ways that Phelps' leadership achieves this goal is through a fall festival that includes HIV testing. Said Phelps, "All of the folks who serve in leadership along with me in the church, we line up on that day and we're one of the first to get tested. … As people who are walking on the streets see us lined up, they feel encouraged."

Bethel Christian Church also speaks out about HIV daily. Phelps said, "At every convocation, at every place we go, we provide testing and it is spoken about from the pulpit, it is shared, it is not just on World AIDS day in December, but it's something that is built in."

The speakers also mentioned ways to engage in outreach that don't emphasize religion. Sadler said, "The goal is not to change that person's theology. The point is to raise awareness … providing them with the specific information [and] not our own personal opinions." Phelps said, "We do have a nonprofit arm that helps the nonreligious side of the work and so that's one of the ways that we've been able to reach some of the young folks. We do not come to them with waving our Bibles and our faith in the sense of wearing a cross and saying, 'Jesus loves you, come drink the water,' but we certainly come to the folks in giving them hope and understanding."

The speakers also valued diversity. Sadler said, "We do invite to the table those of various faiths. We've had Rabbis. We've had Muslims. … We know that the community is made of all individuals."

If a church wishes to start this conversation, Phelps said, "It may be the smaller steps of even having pamphlets, of having reminders on their bulletins if they do that, of having email blasts, something on your website that says that you want people to be healthy and to be tested. … Host a roundtable, a coffee hour and, then, even if it's only two or three people, at least you've begun that conversation."

Phelps suggested that individuals who want their own churches to start testing respect the leadership without being afraid to make trouble. "If we wait for those people [who are uncomfortable] to come on board before we step and we evolve and educate, we will all be dead and gone," said Phelps.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

INT'L AIDS CONFERENCE: HIV research informing COVID-19 vaccine development 2020-07-13 - Journalist Lisa Ling hosted the second season premiere of "The Road to a Vaccine," which was a part of AIDS 2020: The 23rd ...

Gay News

TPAN letter: We stand with you 2020-06-08 - June 8 marks two weeks since the violent death of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis police officers, who have ...

Gay News

Remembering a leader: Larry Kramer 2020-06-02 - We lost a great leader this week with the death of Larry Kramer. Larry was an accomplished man and activist who earned ...

Gay News

WORLD Zambia pardon, fashion house, HIV+ mayor, Costa Rica marriage 2020-06-01 - Zambia's president pardoned a gay couple sentenced to 15 years in prison in November under colonial-era sodomy laws in a case that caused ...

Gay News

THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30 - Larry Kramer was an angry man and he made sure people knew it. The language of his public discourse—the hundreds of articles he ...

Gay News

Chicago House to present Impact of COVID-19 on trans communities May 29 2020-05-28 - CHICAGO, IL — Transgender people, who traditionally experience barriers accessing safe and affirming health care and having their concerns listened to and understood, ...

Gay News

WORLD New HIV news, Catholic event, conversion therapy, Hungary anti-trans bill 2020-05-27 - A global trial stated that a new HIV drug injected every two months effectively reduces the rate of infection, and provides longer and ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal holding HIV/COVID-19 event June 4 2020-05-26 - Lambda Legal will hold a virtual town hall, "HIV and COVID-19 in Illinois: Ensuring State Responses Protect Everyone Living with HIV," on Thursday, ...

Gay News

Chicago House forum looks at coronavirus, HIV overlaps 2020-05-23 - Illinois state Reps. Lamont Robinson and Greg Harris joined local advocates for an online discussion about the intersection between coronavirus pandemic and the ...

Gay News

Registration open for AIDS Run & Walk Chicago 2020-05-15 - On Saturday, Oct. 3, AIDS Run & Walk Chicago plans to look beyond the current state of affairs and focuses on what the ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.