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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesThe Balm in Gilead Holds Annual Prayer Vigil and Honoring Ceremony

The Balm in Gilead Holds Annual Prayer Vigil and Honoring Ceremony

In observance of The Balm In Gilead Inc.’s 21st Annual Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, the organization will host The 6th Annual Prayer Vigil and Honoring Ceremony in recognition of Gritell Martinez for her faithful service with the HIV/AIDS pandemic and serving as the territorial STD/HIV and TB director for the Department of Health. For many years, her work with DOH outreach programs has truly impacted those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS in the Virgin Islands. The event will also recognize 13-year-old Juliana Olivacce of Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, who has written the best essay of 300-350 words entitled “Youth Combating the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.” Her ambition is to become a pediatric nurse. The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, in the main lobby area at Schneider Regional Medical Center.

It will be a powerful week of prayer, education and action. This national AIDS awareness campaign engages black congregations to support, encourage and empower African Americans, Africans and all people of the Diaspora to take action toward stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS in black communities worldwide.
HIV/AIDS continues to spread out of control in our community. African-American women are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and it is the leading cause of death among African- American women ages 25 to 34. The rate of AIDS cases for African American women is 25 times higher than the rate for white women. Of the estimated new AIDS cases, 61 percent are among African-American teen girls ages 13 – 29. African-American gay men continue to be at high risk for infection, accounting for an estimated 57 percent of AIDS diagnoses among men.
The public’s assistance is needed to ensure a successful event. For more information, feel free to call Rev. Toi A. Thomas, V.I. Balm In Gilead coordinator, at: 776-8311, ext. 4096 (work), 777-4030 (home) or 643-1372 (cell).
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