Wall Street Journal Profiles Miami Pastor Working to Raise Black Churches’ Attention to HIV/AIDS
Although black churches in the United States have been "slow" to speak out about the AIDS epidemic among minorities, one Miami preacher is sponsoring weekly condom giveaways and talking openly about HIV/AIDS to congregants, the Wall Street Journal reports in a front-page profile. Rev. George McRae is pastor of the predominantly black Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City, a Miami neighborhood "plagued by poverty, crime and drugs." McRae said that of the church's 950 members, he knows of 82 who are HIV-positive and 329 who are recovering substance users. McRae "insists that welcoming those who have been outcasts is the best way to attack what he calls the 'Triangle of Death' in the black community: drugs, crime and HIV," the Journal reports. To that end, McRae has promoted acceptance and HIV prevention during many church programs. He encourages HIV testing during church breakfasts, distributes condoms to his congregation and travels throughout Florida and other states advising black churches on how to discuss HIV/AIDS with members. "Every black church should have an AIDS ministry," McRae said. Approximately 50% of all new HIV cases in the United States each year occur among blacks, who represent only 13% of the population, the Journal reports (Carrns, Wall Street Journal, 2/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.