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AIDS Healthcare Foundation Applauds City Commissioners' Support of Diversity, Urges Call for Mayor's Resignation
Date:9/5/2007

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today applauded the actions of the Ft. Lauderdale City Commission in affirming the city's support and respect for diversity, but urged the Commission to go further and call for Mayor Jim Naugle's resignation because of his recent attacks on the gay community, including the unfounded accusation that rampant gay sex in public restrooms has been fueling Broward County's HIV/AIDS crisis. The Commission addressed the issue of the Mayor's relationship with the gay community tonight during its bi-weekly meeting.

"We applaud the action of Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson and the other City Commissioners who have demonstrated that the City of Ft. Lauderdale does not condone hate-speech or bigotry in any form," said Michael Kahane, AIDS Healthcare Foundation Bureau Chief, Southern Region. "The Commission's commitment to diversity is commendable. However, we urge the City Commission to go further and call for the Mayor's resignation. The Mayor's misinformed and irresponsible characterization of the County's HIV/AIDS epidemic is not only inaccurate and polarizing, but it may also prove deadly to those who- because of his statements-might continue to believe that they are not at risk for contracting HIV if they are not engaging in certain behaviors or members of a certain group."

In Broward County, as in much of the nation, HIV/AIDS is growing most rapidly among minorities, including African-Americans, Latinos and women. African-Americans comprise over 50% of the reported HIV cases in the state. Women accounted for 30% of the HIV cases reported in Florida in 2006.

According to "Silence is Death: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS in Florida's Black Communities," (a report published by Florida's Department of Health in September 2006) in 2005, 1 in 58 black males and 1 in 83 black females in Florida were living with a diagnosed case of HIV/AIDS. In 2005, for the 15th year in a row,
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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