Mayor proclaims Feb. 7 Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

It moves in without a lease and takes up permanent residency.

HIV/AIDS has infected 14,738 people in Alabama – 63.3 percent of which are African American cases.

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On Wednesday, Mayor James Perkins Jr. proclaimed Feb. 7

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Selma at the seventh annual observance and dinner sponsored by the Dallas County Health Department (DCHD).

“This is a hard proclamation,” Perkins said. “When I look at the numbers, it hurts.”

Perkins read the proclamation, which charged Dallas County to get educated, tested, treated and involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Several persons from the healthcare field, clergy and several members of the community gathered in the Community Room at the Dallas County Health Department in observance of the day and to hear speakers Lula Bridges and Cedric Wherry of Huntsville.

To break the ice, Larilee Maddox, DCHD Disease Intervention Specialist, led the group in a quick game of “Jeopardy”. The topics were health-related and the game informed as well as entertained.

According to statistics from DCHD, there are 175 cases of HIV/AIDS in Dallas County.

HIV/AIDS is global.

There are no persons immune to becoming infected.

According to October 2006 statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health, children under 13 made up one percent of the state’s HIV/AIDS cases and teens ages 13-19 accounted for 4.5 percent of the cases.

Bridges pointed out that the family is the most important structure in our society and with the loss of a family, “We (can) lose a whole community.”