Georgia: Block Party Targets AIDS
August 8, 2005
About 1,000 people gathered Saturday at the Rosa Jackson Community Center in Macon for the Fort Hill Block Party and Health Fair. The event featured free entertainment and food and an emphasis on HIV-prevention. "We want to start taking the message to the 'hood," said Beverly Jones, president of Middle Georgia Sisterhood, which sponsored the fair along with the Central City AIDS Network and the Rainbow Center.
According to a news release distributed by the sponsors, more than 80 percent of AIDS patients in the Macon Health District are African Americans, as are more than 90 percent of local female patients.
Some two-dozen agencies took the opportunity to get the word out via informational booths. "So many people think that it's not a problem and that's sad," said Derek Stokes of the Central City AIDS Network, adding that the clinic has seen a 37 percent increase in new patients from last year, and most are black women.
David Purdue of the nonprofit group Students Affecting Generations Everywhere showed a film to a group of students ages 12 and older, then offered a demonstration that promoted abstinence as the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and STDs. "When you look in the mirror at the end of the day, all the decisions you made affect your future," he said.
Kim Barlow, who brought her three daughters to the fair, said, "They're unaware of the dangers of having sex. I want them to have information other than mine on sexual relations and how they can affect their future."
08.07.05; Liz Fabian
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.