Buffalo-area organizations and churches must become more involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, attendees heard at a recent forum at the Community Action Organization of Erie County Resource Center.
"The African-American community and other communities of color are severely impacted not just by HIV and AIDS, but by other health disparities," said the Rev. Gale Sampson-Lee, the forum's keynote speaker and national director of affiliate services at the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy seeks to reduce by 25 percent the number of new cases by 2015. Community groups must "follow the flow" of federal money to ensure HIV prevention dollars are channeled into local programs, said Sampson-Lee.
Local advocates working in public health often face challenges when navigating national policies and politics, Sampson-Lee acknowledged. "It's not a joy ride," she said. "It's a real commitment."