July 20, 2006
On Saturday at Fort Lauderdale's David Deal Play Day in Joseph C. Carter Park, attendees heard chilling statistics about the impact of HIV/AIDS on the African-American community. Organizers brought pamphlets about the disease, together with HIV testing kits, in an effort to spread awareness.
"We have to face the issue," said Bishop D.G. Hood of Churches United to Stop HIV and AIDS, a program of the Broward County Health Department. "The more people are informed, the more they'll get tested. We want to create the mindset in them that they can live."
Several people acknowledged they had lost loved ones to AIDS or know people who are living with the disease. Dozens visited the van where free HIV testing was being offered.
"Astounding" was how Willie Goldsby of Lauderhill characterized the statistics presented on the disease's effect on black Americans. "I knew it was here, but I didn't know it was that bad."
Named for educator and leisure activities advocate David Deal, Play Day gatherings continue through July 29. Almost 1,000 people attended Saturday's event. For more information, telephone 954-828-4759.