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Making a joyful noise unto the lord… local black churches join the fight against HIV/AIDS.

This week in Rochester 26 churches have committed support to the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS. It’s an issue black churches haven’t traditionally championed.

“Bringing it to the churches is bringing it home to the African American community” says JD Jackson Jr. with Rochester based AIDS Care.

The group is working with the churches to bring awareness about the AIDS crisis in the black community.

According to AIDS Rochester African Americans make up half of all new AIDS cases in the U.S.

African American women represent 61 percent of new cases among women.

Those numbers are staggering given the fact that African Americans make up about 14 percent of the nations population.

“It’s reality. It’s happening. Why run from it?” Those are words from Pastor Lloyd T Oldham of First Church Divine in Rochester.

He says while turnout for an AIDS prayer service and free rapid testing was low on Tuesday he knows there’s a need for events like this.

He sees it in his own congregation and the surrounding community.