Religious, medical leaders will meet to join forces in fight against AIDS September 23, 2008

On Saturday, October 4 leaders from the religious and medical communities will gather at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 E. 55th Street, to discuss the impact HIV/AIDS is having on their neighborhoods and effective ways faith and medicine can work together.

The third annual conference, Religion and Medicine Partnering in the Challenge of HIV/AIDS, is jointly sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Medicine, the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center and the Zygon Center for Religion & Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. The University of Illinois College of Medicine is providing continuing education credit for healthcare professionals,

Speakers will include local AIDS activists who will bring the issues surrounding the disease close to home and discuss what is working well and where there are opportunities to do better.

 AIDS is the leading cause of death of African-American women age 25-35 in Illinois and in Chicago. U.S. health statistics also show that black women are nearly 23% more likely to get a diagnosis of AIDS than white women, although black women engage in risky sex practices no more often than their white counterparts.

"A reasonable inference is that these losses leave many kids without reliable caregivers," says Carol Albright, conference chair and visiting professor of religion and science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. "Young people without social support are the ones most apt to get into behaviors that lead to HIV, and thus the cycle continues." 

Mindy Fullilove of Columbia University's School of Public Health will address the ways in which local and neighborhood situations influence the spread of HIV/AIDS and the care of those who have the disease. Fullilove's recent book Root Shock: How Tearing up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It discusses the effect on African-American neighborhoods in particular.

The conference will also offer a global perspective in reports from the recent World Conference on AIDS held in Mexico City.

Other speakers are affiliated with the Jackson Park Hospital, Kitchen Table Wisdom & Wellness Project; AIDS Foundation of Chicago; University of Illinois College of Medicine; Jewish Child and Family Services and the Poverty Ministries Networking Program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

For more information or to register please visit or contact Jim Schaal at

Religion and Medicine Partnering in the Challenge of HIV/AIDS
Saturday, Oct. 4
8:00a.m. (registration) to 4:30 p.m.
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Augustana Chapel
1100 E. 55th Street

About the Sponsors

Zygon Center for Religion and Science
ZCRS was established in 1988 as a partnership program of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS). It is dedicated to relating religious traditions and the best scientific knowledge in order to gain insight into the origins, nature and destiny of humans and their environment, and to realize the common goal of a world in which love, justice and responsible patters of living prevail.

Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center
MATEC is a federally funded center that provides AIDS/HIV clinical training and support to health care professionals. The center has built connections with the top HIV clinicians and researchers in the Midwest to offer direct access to expert information.


James Schaal
Zygon Center for Religion and Science


Jan Boden
Director of Communication and Marketing

The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.

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