AIDS forum opens today

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

“HIV/AIDS Out Of Control in Black America” headlined a DVD presentation in August 2006, but the warning was first heard in the 1980s, according to Cedric Wherry Sr., a graduate of Alabama A&M University and National Faculty Trainer for the American Red Cross in the fight against the dread disease.

Call him motivator, innovator, presenter, trainer and passionate fighter against HIV/AIDS, but his involvement doesn’t stop there. As the founder of InnerVision Consulting, Wherry conducts seminars on Fatherhood Training for young fathers, Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Human Sexuality, Making Proud Choices, Parent Education Training and S.T.A.Y. (Students Teaching AIDS prevention to Youth), and Anger Management.

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An Independent Contractor of Human Service, Wherry speaks at school assemblies, youth rallies, prisons, churches, detention centers, alternative schools and World AIDS Day programs. In his hometown of Huntsville, he hosts a radio talk show known as “Outside the Box,” which airs on WLOR Jammin’ 1550 radio.

This week in Selma he is facilitating an open forum on AIDS beginning today with free HIV testing in Ward 8, 2307 Water Ave., from 10 a.m.


6 p.m., Selma AIR all day today, Tuesday and Thursday; Friday in Perry County.

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Wherry will conduct an open forum on AIDS at Reformed Presbyterian Church, 627 Jeff Davis Ave., in Selma from 6 to 7:30 p.m. “Ministers,” Wherry says “are in a unique position to show compassion.” Free HIV testing will be offered.

In his work as a National Faculty Trainer for instructors, Wherry says “the only opposition we meet is in silent fear and repression. In speaking of HIV, the words we use are so politically correct, we treat them so tenderly that the point is often lost.”

To counteract this negative effect, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, Black HIV Prevention Network hosts Black AIDS Day Program “The Time to Deliver is Now!!!” in the Dallas County Health Department Community Room, 100 Samuel O. Moseley Dr. Speakers are Wherry, Lula Bridges, the Rev. Darryl Moore and Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., who will present a proclamation. The hours are 5:30

to 7:30 p.m. Dinner is provided.

At Reformed Presbyterian Church on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 8-9, the American Red Cross HIV Education and Prevention forum will train and educate groups as instructors for the Red Cross, who educates this arm with facts in the battle against HIV/AIDS. The training is free for 10 participants with a $10 registration free. The trainers are Wherry and Carrie Grider, who is an AIDS Prevention Educator.

Wherry speaks passionately about

“the work for this AIDS Action Coalition, which began in 1998, although we first heard in the 1980s of this disease in African-Americans. There are five known reasons on why it is happening in the Black community right now, ages 25-44. For the past 11 years HIV and AIDS have been the leading cause of death for black women. From ‘down low’ to infidelity leads the discussions but our purpose is not to talk about problems. It is to bring solutions. And that lies in the promise and power of churches, where people going as a family can learn and help us to get to a solution.”

Wherry is no stranger to Selma. He trained with the American Red Cross at Craig Field in 1998. Now he says he is “coming home as a national trainer.”