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U.S. News

New York: Forum Focuses on Reducing Stigma of HIV/AIDS

July 12, 2011

A forum dedicated to reducing the stigma of homosexuality and HIV/AIDS, sponsored by the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Buffalo (BLCAB), drew about 40 people to the Buffalo Museum of Science on June 28.


"Hopefully, we'll come out of here with some sure-fire action steps," said Donna Chapman, affiliate services coordinator for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. "There's no sense of talking just to talk, because we've been talking about HIV [for] 30 years. We've had 30 years of inaction, 30 years of misaction." Shame and denial, she said, are to blame for missed prevention opportunities in Buffalo's black community, which is seeing a growing rate of HIV/AIDS.

A three-member panel -- comprising L. Nathan Hare, president and CEO of Community Action Organization of Erie County; the Rev. T. Gerard Williams, pastor of Unity Fellowship of Christ Church; and Stephaun Wallace, director of Men of Color Health Awareness -- addressed the impact of issues including poverty, education, health care access, unemployment, religion, and views on masculinity.

"One of the shifts that's going to have to happen is the schism between our spirituality and our physicality, oftentimes perpetuated by the black church," Williams said.

Barbara Jemmott, chair of BLCAB's legislative and public policy committee, hosted the meeting; the panel's moderator was the Rev. Matthew Brown, a member of the group's ecumenical committee.

To learn more about BLCAB, visit

Back to other news for July 2011

Adapted from:
Buffalo News
06.29.2011; Harold McNeil

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Spotlight Series: HIV Stigma & Discrimination
What Does HIV/AIDS Stigma Look Like in Your Life?
More News on HIV Stigma and Discrimination

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