Sunday service at The Luke was a little different on this day.
Science played a big part as Reverend Timothy Sloan was tested for HIV before his congregation.
Sloane says, “Every year, I intend to do this. Take this test publicly so we demonstrate the importance of doing this, of getting tested and knowing your status. So, I want the church to know that I’m not going to ask them to do anything that I wouldn’t do personally.”
Free HIV testing was offered during and after the service.
Plenty of people took advantage to know their status.
Britnee Smiley says, “It’s very convenient. I didn’t even know it was happening today. I just came to get my worship on so I see that so I was like you know what let me walk in and get tested right before I walk in and go serve.”
Sloane adds, “A lot more involvement this year. Our second year of the Day of Unity. People understand what we are dealing with They’re ready to be informed and educated and it was very, very easy to really develop excitement about getting tested and making sure we sent a message across our church and country that we are going to deal with HIV.”
The message needs to get out because some of the numbers are downright scary. one in 16 black men are at risk of contracting the HIV virus, and if Black America where its own country, it would rank 16th in the world for HIV rates.
So, Reverend Sloan’s plea is just the first step in stopping the spread of this disease.
“I want you to get tested today. It won’t take but a moment for you to get your results back.”
Amen to that.