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Philly Faith in Action

November 2012

Posted on pfiaadmin

N O V E M B E R   2 0 1 2

In This Issue
Feature: Julia Johnson, Service Leader at LIVE Ministry
In the News
Other Events
  Just click on the Facebook link above and click the “Like” button at the top right-hand corner of our page. You may need to log in to your Facebook account first. Once you like us, you’ll be able to see all that is new and exciting at Philly Faith in Action, all on your dashboard!

Dear Amy,
This month, we profile Julie Johnson, Service Leader of the LIVE ministry at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Read about her extraordinary work with the largest HIV/AIDS ministry in Philadelphia.


Included in this month’s newsletter is the New Yorker’s film review of How to Survive a Plague. This documentary features the history and extraordinary work of ACT UP in promoting HIV/AIDS research, treatment, and policy change.


December 1st is World AIDS Day! Take this opportunity to get involved! For ideas about how you can get involved, please email us at or call 215-990-3338.


Last month Philly Faith in Action screened The Gospel of Healing at Temple University and at First District Plaza. We extend our thanks to our panelists and to all who attended the event!

  Profile: Julie Johnson, Service Leader at LIVE
  Ministry, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church

By Julia Harvey
Offering one’s time, energy, and heart to a community of thousands of people affected by HIV/AIDS is no small feat. Julie Johnson does this every week in her role as Service Leader for the LIVE Ministry at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. LIVE is the largest HIV/AIDS ministry in Philadelphia.


Established in 2006, LIVE stands for “Living in Victory Every Day.” The ministry “uses the word of God to educate, motivate, and train individuals who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS,” by offering HIV testing, education, and providing support.


Johnson was called to service after witnessing the devastating effects of AIDS in her own family: both her cousin and uncle passed away from AIDS related-causes. Recounting her cousin’s last weeks, Johnson recalled that some members of her family did not visit her cousin in the hospital. Her experience deeply impacted her, and she remembers that  “even at the memorial, they said ‘he was sick,’ but the word ‘AIDS’ was never mentioned.”


Remembering the loss of her family members, when she learned that Enon Tabernacle was beginning a new HIV/AIDS ministry, she saw a window of opportunity to give back to others.


Today, she oversees LIVE’s wide-ranging activities, including the “Carnival for the Cure,” an HIV testing and educational event that also includes a fashion show and other fun activities. She also helps organize HIV testing at Enon’s annual men’s health event and oversees HIV/AIDS support groups and an HIV/AIDS hotline.


One of LIVE’s greatest successes is an annual men’s health event, which began in 2011. In contrast with your run-of-the-mill health fair, during the men’s health event, Enon’s spaces are reorganized with the goal of creating a space where men feel comfortable and can have a good time while taking charge of their health. The event serves food, screens movies, screens the NCAA basketball tournament, offers free haircuts, and even hosts an X-box competition. Men of all ages come out each year for a number of free services, including HIV tests, blood pressure screenings, lipid and diabetes screenings, and prostate exams. This program has been lauded as a public health example for effectively engaging African American men in important preventive health screenings and has received widespread media coverage.


Johnson recalls hearing older men talking to younger men about the importance of taking control of their health at this year’s event. Johnson welcomes these kinds of conversations about HIV testing. She says, “I can say the same thing a hundred times, but it means so much more coming from someone whom those boys look up to as a role model.”


Additionally, LIVE reaches hundreds of others with its HIV/AIDS hotline. This hotline was established for community members to call for support and information about HIV/AIDS. The ministry works to connect with everyone who calls. “You never know when the person on the other end is in crisis mode,” she explains. Once someone gets in touch, members of the ministry try to figure out if the individual is in care and then link the person to care services.


A few months ago, Johnson received a call from a young woman who had been diagnosed with HIV the previous year, but, nervous about her diagnosis, had not sought medical care.


Johnson recalls that  the young woman mentioned she would have never started treatment into treatment if she had not called the hotline. “It’s really important for them to hear a live person talking to them on the other end. It’s about talking together as people to help them find those next steps.”


For more information, contact LIVE at or 215-276-7201.


Do you know YOUR status? Get tested at Enon’s World AIDS Day testing event on Sunday, December 2nd!


  In the News

“The first rapid home-testing kit for HIV has just gone on sale for $40, marketed as a way for people to find out privately if they have the virus that causes AIDS.
Ángel Franco/The New York Times
Photo: Ángel Franco/The New York Times
But some experts and advocates say that another use, unadvertised, for the OraQuick test – to screen potential sexual partners – may become equally popular and even help slow an epidemic stuck at 50,000 new infections each year in the United States.”
To read the full article, click here.


New Yorker Film Review: How to Survive a Plague


“This documentary by David France traces the history of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from its impassioned beginnings to its splintered end.


Relying heavily on old news footage, home movies, and interviews with former activists, France chronicles the movement’s vigorous street politics in the late eighties and early nineties, when its members protested the federal government’s and the pharmaceutical companies’ grievously slow responses to the AIDS crisis.


The eloquence of the movement’s primary speakers (including Ann Northrop, Peter Staley, Iris Long, Bob Rafsky, and the showstopper, Larry Kramer) makes this film moving and essential.”


To read the full review, click here.


How to Survive a Plague Trailer
How to Survive a Plague Trailer



A Day With HIV


This website allows you to post and view pictures of people committed to fighting HIV/AIDS. See their faces and read their stories.


Melissa Baker, Virginia: “Pop my morning Isentress (raltegravir) and head up to the mountains to pick my angel’s first apples. Just another day with HIV.”


See more inspiring photos, or post your own here.


CNN: Magic Johnson launches in-home HIV test and opens up about his fight with HIV


Earvin “Magic” Johnson had his career cut short when he was diagnosed with HIV 22 years ago. At the time, very few people went public with the virus.


The impact of the announcement was huge. Since then, Magic has found a new life as a successful entrepreneur and advocate. And his latest project is both of those things.


He’s partnered with Orasure and is now a spokesperson to find a more convenient way for people to confirm their HIV status. The oral swab test can detect HIV antibodies in just 20 minutes.


To read the article and watch the video, click here.

  Upcoming Local Events

Healthy Living Health Fair at Zion Baptist Church
Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Join the NAACP , Zion Baptist Church, and Philly Faith in Action for a Healthy Living Heath Fair on Saturday November 17th from 10AM-3PM! It will be held at Zion Baptist Church, on the second floor in their gymnasium. The fair will feature blood pressure screenings, body index index calculations, raffles and giveaways, and more. Pharmacists will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have. Refreshments will be served. Contact Lenise Miller with questions at 267-582-0489
What: Healthy Living Health Fair
When: Saturday, November 17th, 2012, 10AM-3PM
Where: Zion Baptist Church
3600 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia PA 19140
Criminalization of HIV in Our Own Backyards 

Monday, November 19th, 2012
All are welcome and encouraged to attend a Pennsylvania Community Forum, on November 19th from 3-6PM, to learn about laws governing HIV/AIDS in Pennsylvania. The event is free, and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP at (215)-985-4448 ext. 153. For more information, contact Waheedah Shabazz-El at

What: Community forum entitled “Criminalization of HIV in Our Own Backyards”

When: Monday, November 19th, 2012, 3-6PM
Where: The William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107


Thank you for your continued support of Philly Faith in Action.
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