Project FAITH

FAMILIES ACQUIRING INFORMATION TOGETHER about HIV/AIDS

Project FAITH began as a community level mobilization, intervention, prevention and education organization, working primarily through houses of worship.

  • Mobilization: Motivating and moving people to action.
  • Intervention: Providing information that causes people to make different choices and reduce risky behavior.
  • Prevention: Providing information that influences behavior and decisions before risky behavior occurs.
  • Education: Presenting facts and truths that teach options, consequences and successes.

These interventions were successfully accomplished through community awareness, events, health fairs, HIV Basic Courses for Ministries and HIV conferences.

Project FAITH has transitioned from Community Level Interventions to Group Level Interventions. These interventions deal with behavioral changes and adaptations to social norms.

Project FAITH is a statewide, HIV/AIDS education and prevention program that targets the faith leaders and congregations in various houses of worship, or non-traditional settings throughout the State of New Jersey. Its primary role has been to establish HIV resource centers that include one or more of the following activities:

  • Distribution of culturally appropriate literature and materials (give-away) that may be inserted into faith community bulletins
  • Provide HIV prevention risk and harm reduction sessions
  • Provide counseling and training
  • Provide HIV prevention train-the-trainer to at least two persons from each house of worship for an on-going dialogue with members and its community

Project FAITH HIV resource centers are certified partners with the Balm in Gilead, a nationally recognized organization with expertise in the mobilization of black churches and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Although this intervention has worked well, the epidemic continues to ravish the African American com0unity. According to the State Department of Health and Senior Services, nationwide, more than 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS and half of all AIDS cases occur among African Americans. In New Jersey, more than 33,300 people are living with HIV/AIDS and 55 percent or 18,500 of them are African Americans.

Project FAITH has implemented two capacity building workshops that will shift the focus of their work from AIDS awareness to a “behavior change model” utilizing scientifically based curriculum. This project conducts the SISTA (Sisters Informing Sisters About Topics on AIDS) and POL (Popular Opinion Leader) intervention and prevention trainings.

Project FAITH bridges the gap between Faith Communities and HIV service providers. It provides assistance to move from views and visions to creating vital and vibrant ministries. The benefit of this project is to continue to galvanize faith leaders around the issues of HIV/AIDS and to shift their focus from that of awareness to behavioral changes.