Florida: State Health Department Wants More AIDS Education for Blacks
May 30, 2008
On Saturday, the Mother Wit Institute Inc.'s "Silence is Death" conference will spotlight how HIV/AIDS is affecting Florida's black community. The event -- which features the state Department of Heath's HIV/AIDS bureau chief, Tom Liberti, and Ron Henderson, the state minority AIDS coordinator -- will be held at the Baptist Center on Strong Street in Pensacola.
For some people, the perception of how AIDS affects black people may still lag behind reality. AIDS is the top cause of death among black men and women ages 25-44, according to the state Department of Health.
Remaining silent and doing nothing would let AIDS continue to devastate Florida's black community, Liberti said. Instead, black religious groups statewide have joined the health department and the African Methodist Episcopal Church to set up an HIV testing site in at least one church in each county.
In Volusia County, the Daytona Beach-based Stewart-Marchman Foundation joined restaurants to offer free meal coupons as an incentive for oral HIV testing. And health workers in Polk County are training beauticians to perform outreach with clients.
"That's what we mean by leadership," said Liberti. "We can't do this ourselves."
Pensacola News Journal
05.29.2008; Reginald T. Dogan
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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.