African-American religious leaders nationwide have united in support of the National Black Clergy for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS Act of 2009, a bill that calls for more than $600 million in funding for faith-based prevention, testing and outreach, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

Programs under the bill would target runaways, substance abusers and prisoners, and would teach young people about abstinence as well as condom use. Additionally, the bill would fund family reconciliation, HIV treatment and the study of biological and behavioral factors that lead to increased prevalence in the African-American community.

“That disease is certainly one that needs to be reckoned with,” said Pastor W. James Favorite, head of the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Tampa Bay. “It's getting worse in our community.”

The bill, introduced earlier this year, was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.