HIV/AIDS touches the lives of many people, including those who do not have the virus. The opposite is also true: people who do not have HIV can affect the lives of those who do have the virus . Knowing this, it is important that people who do not have HIV understand how the virus is—and is not—spread. It is also essential to help them understand how to ally with people with the virus, in order to decrease the stigma that comes with HIV. HIV-related stigma makes life worse for those living with the virus, and it keeps everyone living in fear, thereby preventing HIV testing and treatment.

With this in mind, we looked for ways to reach people who do not have HIV, but who could be in a position to support those living with the virus. This led to our speaking with faith leaders of Durham churches, and we learned that most churches no longer have an HIV/AIDS ministry, although their pastors are open to HIV education and to welcoming people with HIV into their congregations. Pastors suggested that we create an HIV training that provides HIV information aligned with their teachings on living a Christian life. They also shared that their congregants would like to learn about chronic diseases other than HIV, and they believe that HIV training attendance would increase if the training also includes information on cancer and diabetes.

We have launched the development of this curriculum, with an expected completion in early December, 2012. The curriculum is entitled, “Health Talk: Tackling Health Topics that Affect Our Congregations and Communities.” It includes three modules that can be offered together or separately:

  • Health Talk: Diabetes
  • Health Talk: HIV
  • Health Talk: Cancer

To access the curriculum described above, use this link: Health Talk: HIV Resource Tool (January 2013)