Despite rising HIV/AIDS rates in the black community, rates in Delaware seem to be going down thanks to an increase in funding and aggressive activism throughout the state, especially by African-American churches, Delaware Online reports. While 67 percent of people living with AIDS in the state are black, numbers have decreased from 226 in 2001 to 113 last year.

About $1.3 million in federal money helped fund more than a dozen organizations—more than a third more money than was given in 2002. In 2007, African Americans in Delaware took 7,500 HIV tests. Yet many in the community feel that addressing poverty is the real key to dealing with the epidemic.

“If you teach people who are impoverished how to get out of poverty, that gives them hope and that breaks the cycle of impoverishment,” said the Rev. Christopher Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church, a black congregation with an AIDS ministry. “The money needs to be focused on poverty in Delaware.”