Raise awareness of HIV/AIDS epidemic

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Ethical and spiritual values, as well as social responsibility, compel me to call attention to an epidemic that is wreaking havoc in communities across this country and around the world. Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic affects everyone, it is having a particularly devastating impact on communities of color and for individuals living in poverty.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that nearly half (46 percent) of the new cases of HIV/AIDS are African-Americans. Of the new cases reported, more than 70 percent are caused by individuals who do not know their HIV status.

A recent report titled "Passing the Test: The Challenges and Opportunities of HIV Testing in Black America" identifies four factors that hinder progress in controlling the disease. Those factors include: the stigma of being harmed if test results are positive; testing as a part of medical exams is not routine; the continued requirement of written consent in many states; and the failure of effective marketing efforts to promote testing.

Starting today -- World AIDS Day -- and ending Sunday, Dec. 6, every person in Augusta will have multiple opportunities to become educated regarding this issue; to show support for individuals who have HIV or AIDS; and to be an advocate for addressing this public health concern. I encourage everyone to participate in activities that have been planned by a diverse group of organizations to promote HIV prevention in Augusta.

As academics, advocates and good neighbors, I hope that we will all do our parts personally and professionally to eradicate this horrific disease in our community. A call to action includes educating oneself, protecting yourself and praying for all who have been touched by HIV/AIDS.

I join with all leaders who understand how important it is to raise awareness about this disease and to support prevention efforts.

Knowing your HIV status is a right and responsibility. Knowing your partner's HIV status can save your life. I have been tested. Have you?

Dr. George C. Bradley

Augusta

(The writer is president of Paine College in Augusta.)

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johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 12/01/09 - 05:44 am
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Part of the gay and p.c.

Part of the gay and p.c. agenda was to keep the real effect and ability to spread of the AIDS/HIV problem a secret. Doctors were prosecuted during the first Bush administration for advertising that they had been tested and found to be disease free. The p.c. approach to the disease prevented, or greatly reduced, a stigma from being attached to the disease. Now the world wide epidemic affects every ignorant, careless and high risk group, ALMOST exclusively. The necessary cultural adjustment needed goes much deeper than AIDS testing.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 12/01/09 - 05:48 am
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Other than test that were

Other than test that were required for my job I have not been tested in years......but I haven't shared needles or had sexy outside of my marriage, and neither has my wife either. Pretty sure that makes us safe. Ethics and morals are still good for SOMETHING.

carcraft
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carcraft 12/01/09 - 06:55 am
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Tigger_The_Tiger on Tue Dec

Tigger_The_Tiger on Tue Dec 1, 2009 4:48 AM Your chances of getting AIDS is nil...as is mine, for the same reason..an interesting book to read is Aids in the Age of the 80's by Masters and Johnson..They were politically incorrect and recieved the usual charactor assination by the elitist media..Dispite they fact they had impecable credintials and sex was their area of expertise.. 10% of the population is responsible for 90% os sexually transmitted diseases..This came from their research...

JesusIsComing
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JesusIsComing 12/01/09 - 07:01 am
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The only close call I had

The only close call I had with HIV was when I had a procedure done at the VA - that mistake will not be repeated. But the author is right, if you are having gay sex, having multiple partners, sharing needles, or getting a colonoscopy or endoscopy done at the VA - GET TESTED!

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 12/01/09 - 08:05 am
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If folks are not "aware" of

If folks are not "aware" of aids/hiv after 28 years,they never will be "aware".

seenitB4
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seenitB4 12/01/09 - 08:15 am
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So do you see why schools

So do you see why schools need safe sex education? Some want to outlaw anything to do with sex education..

wm.strickland
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wm.strickland 12/01/09 - 11:40 am
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Dr. Bradley. Thank you.

Dr. Bradley. Thank you.

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