HOUSTON—A local minister has written a book on preaching about HIV and he says His message is building believers.
“I had a partner that cheated on me and cheated on me with someone who had HIV, and for some reason, I didn’t get it,” said Rashaan Lowell, who co-ordinates programs at Bro4life. The Houston group is funded by the CDC to fight HIV.
Thursday marked National Gay Men’s HIV-AIDs Awareness Day. Sixty percent of gay black men are expected to be HIV positive by the time they’re 40 years old.
One of every 53 blacks in Houston are HIV positive and most are women.
”When you hear those statistics it’s alarming,” said Dr. Timothy Sloan.
A NAACP manual aims to change things. It is loaded with statistics and sermons and serves as a guide for black churches to preach on HIV.
”I thought that the church would be somewhat resisting of this issue,” Sloan said.
Sloan, the pastor of St. Luke’s Missionary Baptist Church in Humble, helped write it.
So far, his church is the only one known to use it. He said long-told myths about HIV, those infected, and members against sexually charged sermons concerns pastors.
“If they preached it and talked about it correctly it would have great influence, but the issue is getting past the sexuality thing,” he said.
For Sloan’s church, seeing their pastor take an HIV test in front of his congregation changed hearts and minds.
“I think the church has embraced the conversation to a larger degree now cause you have to deal with it,” he said. “It’s in the church and you’ve got a lot of people that are serving who are struggling with this lifestyle.”