Saving Souls, Healing Bodies: Partnering with Faith Leaders to Deliver HIV Education

MANHATTAN, N.Y. - Dec. 15, 2023 - PRLog -- DKBmed LLC is developing an educational program to address the HIV epidemic that continues to ravage communities across the United States. Entitled Saving Souls, Healing Bodies: Faith-Based HIV Outreach, this initiative will consist of a live outreach to pastors at the Louisiana Freedmen Missionary Baptist General Association and webcasts hosted on the DKBmed learning platform targeted towards clinicians y who reside in the New Orleans, LA metropolitan area. Data collected by the State of Louisiana suggest that New Orleans ranks 9th for HIV case rates (17.3 per 100,000) among large cities in the United States.

A potential solution to close longstanding racial disparities in HIV care is through the engagement of faith-based organizations, or FBOs, which serve as a place of refuge and healing for congregants. Because New Orleans, LA has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the United States, the potential for educational programming to have a pronounced, positive effect is high.

"For generations, faith-based organizations have been important partners in efforts to deliver social services and health-related interventions," notes Corey Hebert, MD, Assistant Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center. "African American clergy in the South have expressed an eagerness to promote greater HIV screening and treatment over the years, but they have been limited consistently by a lack of resources to fulfill this vision. Through this program, the leaders of these vibrant parishes can finally help their congregants, and in doing so, safeguard the well-being of the wider community."

Health fairs will be scheduled at churches in various parts of the New Orleans area to allow members of these communities to receive free screening tests for HIV and other common conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Referral coordinators will be present to assist individuals who need or would like to schedule follow-up visits, if necessary. The first health fair event will be at the Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church on September 9 from 10am-1pm in the Fellowship Hall. After the conclusion of the webcasts, DKBmed will create a Congregant-Clinician Referral Network, which will include contact information for clinicians who have successfully completed the education so that congregants may be referred to interested and educated clinicians for further care. More information can be found at: (
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