Pastors in Syracuse, New York, will gather tonight to participate in a seminar about how the church can help battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African-American community.

According to the New York State Department of Health, 42 percent of new HIV infections in the Syracuse area are in the black community.

Sponsored by the Genesis Health Project and the Southwest Community Center, tonight’s program will be held at the Gospel Temple Church of God in Christ. “The church is the cornerstone for the minority community and when pastors speak they are listened to," Genesis director Luvenia Cowart said in a local news article.

The seminar’s organizers hope that the event will lead to more involvement from church leaders in increasing awareness about HIV and AIDS.  A study released last year showed that 24 percent of  HIV-positive people felt alienated by their religious communities, while 10 percent changed their place of worship because of their status.