“The majority of the world’s population lives in low-income countries with extremely limited access to mental health care. This gap is largest in African nations, which have the world’s lowest ratio of mental health professionals: just 1.4 per 100,000 people. For more than a decade, a multinational team of researchers has been exploring ways to close that gap for nearly 50 million orphans in Africa who are grieving the loss of one or both parents. HIV/AIDS and respiratory infections are the leading cause of death. Being orphaned predicts other problems – problems like substance abuse, dropping out of school, or unemployment. Orphans are also more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior that may lead to new cases of HIV — and perpetuate a vicious circle.

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Dr. Rae Jean Proeschold Bell, Associate Research Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute and CHPIR, recently co-wrote a book that documented and discussed the findings from the Duke Clergy Health Initiative. The book, Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis, was published in May by Baker Academics. 

“Clergy suffer from certain health issues at a rate higher than the general population. Why are pastors in such poor health? And what can be done to help them step into the abundant life God desires for them?

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Gilead Sciences announced its COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States) Initiative, an unprecedented $100 million commitment over 10 years to support organizations working to end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States. Through the initiative, Gilead is partnering with three coordinating centers to strategically provide funding across the region. The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) has been selected as a coordinating center.

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