Town Hall Meeting Held on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

A town hall meeting was held on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Feb. 7, focusing on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. “You can’t heal what you won’t reveal,” said statewide minority AIDS coordinator Ronald Henderson.

Florida has the third highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the United States, according to Tom Liberti, HIV/AIDS bureau chief for the Florida Department of Health.

The CDC reported that, in 2009, one in 42 African American men and one in 63 African American women in Florida were infected with HIV/AIDS. Henderson said that although the budget for medication isn’t enough to consider everyone’s needs, both the federal and state government are trying to improve resources.

“The significance of a young person knowing someone who is HIV positive only sets the standard to use resources more frequently,” said Jamie Johnson, a health educator for Big Bend Cares. “However, we must utilize the knowledge given to us and inform our community.”