South Carolina: HIV/AIDS Events Highlight Need for Testing
February 5, 2009
AIDS advocates in South Carolina are working to promote Saturday's National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Along with a number of events linked to the day, Gov. Mark Sanford has issued a proclamation urging people to "get tested, get involved, and get treated."
Many experts believe mobilizing churches is essential to stemming the epidemic's toll on blacks. Now in its third year, Project F.A.I.T.H. directly engages clergy on the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, said the Rev. Perry Oliver, its director. "It's the old stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, with homophobia, and sometimes people find it very hard to talk about sex and the church," he said.
However, once faith-based leaders see the alarming statistics, they are often open to education and assistance, said Oliver. To date, 39 congregations have tapped Project F.A.I.T.H.'s HIV/AIDS resources.
For information about HIV testing opportunities statewide, telephone the S.C. AIDS/STD Hotline at 800-322-AIDS (2437).
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
02.05.2009; Carolyn Click
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.