The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called on pastors and members of black churches to participate in the first annual Day of Unity, an initiative to inspire discussion about HIV/AIDS as a social justice issue, according to an NAACP statement. To help guide church leaders, the NAACP released a manual titled The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative. The group believes that African-American pastors in the more than 21,000 black churches in the United States are uniquely positioned to raise awareness from the pulpit about HIV/AIDS as an issue of health equity. If they promote HIV testing initiatives and include educational material about HIV in regular newsletters, church leaders can reduce the stigma surrounding the virus, according to the NAACP statement.

To read the NAACP statement, click here.