Conference encourages HIV-AIDS testing for Mid-Southerners - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Conference encourages HIV-AIDS testing for Mid-Southerners

A regional conference in Memphis, held in conjunction with World AIDS Day, has been organized with the goal of encouraging Mid-Southerners to get tested for the disease.

During the next several days, Members of Tennessee's black caucus will team up with the Tennessee Department of Health to look the disparities that are linked to the impact of HIV-AIDS on minorities in Tennessee.

Through workshops and seminars, organizers will educate attendees about how issues like poverty racism, education, and literacy impact health in the community.

"(We want) to train our faith community on how to set up ministries; how to give talks on HIV AIDS; how to encourage people to get testing, treatment, and follow," said Dr. Cherry Hudson of the Tennessee Department of Health.

"We've got to get tested," said Tennessee State Representative G.A. Hardaway. "We've got to get educated, and the only way we can do that is to destroy the stigma that has so long existed within our community that has kept us from discussing the disease."

Of special concern to conference attendees is the fact that African American Women make up 69% of new HIV-AIDS cases in the United States.
Doctors said they are also seeing an increase in HIV-AIDS cases among elderly residents.

The conference runs through Sunday at the Holiday Inn Select on Democrat Road.

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