The Buffalo chapter of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA) is reaching out to African-American churches in the New York region in the hope of raising HIV awareness among the city’s black community, The Buffalo News reports.

“One of the hardest areas to penetrate is the church, but the church is one of the most important [institutions] that need to be penetrated, because the church is the hot seat in the African-American community,” says Donna Chapman, Buffalo coordinator for the advocacy organization. “It’s still the place we go to look for guidance and information.”

According to the article, the Buffalo-based group has sponsored a series of prevention education workshops in an effort to demystify the virus and allow participants to deal with the issues of HIV/AIDS from a faith perspective. On the national level, the NBLCA hopes to build a united front among the country’s African-American community around the issue of HIV/AIDS, so they can better cooperate with AIDS service organizations.