In observance of World Aids Day, Bishop T.D. Jakes’ The Potter’s House megachurch provided free HIV testing to hundreds of people in Dallas, The Christian Post reports. Expressing solidarity with those affected, the church coordinated with medical aides from UT Southwestern Medical Center as part of its “Spread the Word. Get Tested” health-screening campaign.
The Potter’s House AIDS ministry is called the Balm Ministry, which “personifies Bishop Jakes’ call to minister to hurting people,” including those with an HIV-positive diagnosis. “Getting tested is not just about being at risk but also about the education around the shared responsibility for a healthy generation,” The Potter’s House said in a statement.
Dallas County has the highest rate of new HIV infections in the state and one of the highest in the nation. About one-fourth of new diagnoses are from teens between the ages of 13 to 18, and roughly half are African American, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The Balm Ministry aims at increasing those who know their status, increasing those who receive adequate care and treatment, and decreasing the number of new diagnoses.