Gillibrand and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said they’d introduce the Communities United with Religious Leaders for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS Act when Congress returns from its recess in September.

Their bill would allow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to give grants to health agencies, and community and faith-based organizations for education, outreach, research and testing for HIV/AIDS prevention.

“It's so important that community organizations and religious leaders join in partnership to find 'on-the-ground' solutions to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in communities of color,” Rangel said. “This bill will empower and strengthen these partnerships by providing much needed funding to help them find creative ways to break the silence and denial of this devastating disease.”

Rangel is scheduled to host a community event with recording artist Alicia Keys to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS on Tuesday afternoon.

African-Americans account for nearly half of all newly infected HIV/AIDS patients. Other minority groups also have HIV/AIDS rates significantly higher than those in the white community.