Run Date: 11/27/06
By Malena AmusaWeNews correspondent

Female ministries are beginning to tackle a fact that activists say African American churches and the U.S. government alike have failed to adequately acknowledge or address: Black women are contracting HIV faster than any other group of women.

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)–On a recent Saturday afternoon, Joyce MacDonald, 56, walked through the Church of the Open Door in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she has been the HIV ministry coordinator for the past five years.

At an AIDS quilt collecting dust on a wall, she pointed to patches she helped compile. Each patch represents a person infected or affected by AIDS.

“There are at least 200 more names of people I need to add,” MacDonald said.
After years of surviving drug abuse, violent boyfriends and multiple rapes, MacDonald tested positive for HIV in 1995.

That made her part of a stubborn, 15-year trend: African American women have been contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, faster than any group of women in the United States.