Safe sex encouraged during Classic

 This weekend, thousands of college students and young adults will flock to Orlando for the Florida Classic. For many, this means partying, drinking and sex.

More than 70 percent of the HIV prevention contacts are geared toward racial ethnic minorities, according to the Florida Department of Health website. These concerns have prompted the department to join the Orange County Health Department AIDS Program, STD Program and the Bureau of HIV/AIDS coordinate with several local community-based organizations to conduct HIV/AIDS awareness activities for the Florida Classic weekend.

“Get tested and keep an open and honest policy with your partner,” said Leroy Jackson, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator for the Leon County Health Department. “Once you know your status you can deal with the situation at hand.”  

Florida had more than 117,612 reported cases of HIV/AIDS in 2008, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, making it the second highest infected state in the nation. African-Americans, who make-up 14 percent of the statewide population, represent more than 50 percent of the reported cases in the Florida. In Leon County, approximately 65 of the 6,705 African-Americans who tested, tested positive in 2009, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Counseling and Testing Data Summary Report. 

Jackson was unable to share any statistics regarding FAMU directly because he did not want to stigmatize the university, but encouraged people to visit Florida Department of Health website for any statistical data.