Workshops designed to raise awareness of AIDS

Black life is worth saving.


That is the theme for the 2009 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and it's the message that Sandra Wimberly hopes people get during a workshop Saturday.

"The day is dedicated to African-Americans because we are increasing in the number of reported HIV/AIDS cases," said the public health educator for the Richmond County Health Department. "We are still trying to bring awareness into our community about HIV/AIDS. If we continue to live in darkness, we will never see the light."

The workshop will feature a presentation by Gil Robertson, author of Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community.

"The problem with HIV/AIDS in the black community is that the message that has been delivered to the mainstream community hasn't necessarily penetrated the black community," Mr. Robertson said in a phone interview last week.

He will talk about the obstacles facing the black community in the fight against HIV/AIDS and how to overcome them.

"It's a very interactive presentation and engaging. They will certainly walk away with a new perspective and shift in attitudes," he said.

"We are going to put forth an action plan of how Augusta can stamp out HIV/AIDS."

According to the health department, 79 percent of the people reported with HIV or AIDS in the East Central Health District as of Sept. 30 are black.

"Many of us live an illusionary life by not recognizing that it's in our community and infecting our children, our teens, our adults and our senior citizens," Ms. Wimberly said. "We need to recognize that it's happening. When we do that, we can help people keep themselves safe."

The event is open to people of all ages. For more information about Mr. Robertson's book, visit


WHAT: Black Life Is Worth Saving

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Paine College's Candler Memorial Library

COST: Free

INFORMATION: (706) 667-4342


WHAT: HIV/AIDS 101, risk reduction workshop

WHEN: 5 p.m. Friday

WHERE: My Brothaz H.O.M.E. Inc., 632 Fifth St.

COST: Free

INFORMATION: (706) 828-7433

WHAT: Ladies Day Out

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Good Shepherd Baptist Church, 1714 Olive Road

COST: Free

INFORMATION: (706) 721-5830



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