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                           Secretariat for African American Catholics
                     
3211 4th Street, N.E.    Washington, D.C.  20017-1194    (202) 541-3177    FAX (202) 541-3477

 

 

September 2004

 

 

Dear African American Catholic Leader:

“Each one – Take one”

            Tuesday, September 21, 2004 is the day designated to “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day.”  The National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force and the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life’s theme this year is “Each One – Take One.”  We are seeking the participation of all African Americans in this effort which will not only contribute to the enrichment and improvement of healthcare in our communities, but will also be addressing the spiritual dimension of our work as Christians.

            One of the reasons why HIV is in epidemic proportion is because the disease may not have any symptoms.  You can pass the disease to someone and not even know it. This is the same with many other diseases common among African Americans, they have no warning signs in their early stages, and many of those at high risk do not know it. Kidney disease for example, is disproportionate among African Americans.  While we make up 12 percent of the population, we account for 30 percent of the people with kidney failure.[1]

The initial step in preventative medicine is to obtain routine medical attention. “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day” is an excellent time to emphasize the importance in seeking the care of medical care.  This will be an excellent opportunity to get tested for HIV.  Many health clinics will be offering the screenings on this day.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force and the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life, in conjunction with the Health Gap Campaign urge you to take someone for medical care, and encourage others to do the same.  

 

For more information contact one of the following: 

Closing the Gap, www.healthgap.omhrc.gov , 1-800-444-6472;

Secretariat for African American Catholics “National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force, www.usccb.org/saac , 202-541-3177; or  

National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life, www.blackcatholicsforlife.org ,

212-868-1847
 

Let us go forth on September 21st knowing that Jesus Christ is the source of eternal life, Faith in HIM as the resurrected Son of God, and in his ability to save and to heal, is a formidable weapon against fear and discouragement. 

 
Yours in Christ,

Beverly A. Carroll                                            Reverend James Goode, OFM, Ph.D.
            Executive Director                                            President
            Secretariat for African American                    National Black Catholic Apostolate Catholics for Life

 

[1] National Institute of Health (6/15/04)