Florida: Conference Highlights Initiative on AIDS
June 30, 2010
Public health officials in Florida are partnering with the business community in the fight against HIV.
At a recent conference in north central Florida's Alachua County, business leaders assessed the progress of the state's "Business Response to AIDS Initiative." Under the program, business owners receive an HIV/AIDS resource book, condoms and other HIV education materials.
"I want you to be just as educated as I am," Teresa White, a Florida Department of Health regional minority AIDS coordinator, told the business owners assembled in Gainesville.
Meeting participants received T-shirts with a "Know Your Status" message.
Between 32 and 36 Gainesville businesses are participating in the program, White said. The initiative, which began in December, also is partnering with businesses in Lake City, Ocala, and Gainesville, she said.
One suggestion was the creation of a directory of the businesses involved in the initiative. Participants also offered ways to raise the profile of the program.
Marion Session, a specialty printer in Palatka in Putnam County, said people ask her why she distributes condoms. The question allows Session to explain that she has a family member with HIV and it is her way of helping to fight the epidemic.
As part of the initiative, White soon will get additional feedback from businesses that already have signed up. "There is still a lot of ignorance about AIDS out there," she said.
06.24.2010; Cleveland Tinker
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.
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