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Here's Hope and the AIDS Epidemic in the South
Date:8/25/2008

ohol counseling, HIV education, life skills, English as Second Language (ESL) classes, and health care to people infected by HIV/AIDS. The program currently serves 73 clients, most of whom are Latino and/or African American. That is, those the virus is hitting hardest both in Miami as well as across the Southern U.S. Three representatives from the program will attend the Territorial Social Services Conference in October to talk about their experiences and commitment to the response to HIV/AIDS.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data released in March, six of the ten states with the highest AIDS case rates per 100,000 people in 2006 were in the South: District of Columbia (146.7), Maryland (29.0), Florida (27.3), Louisiana (19.2), Georgia (17.1), and South Carolina (16.3). The CDC also estimates that 25% of Americans who are HIV-positive do not know their status.

Like many other HIV/AIDS programs in the South, Here's Hope is crowded and in need of additional funding, as service providers try to meet a growing need with few resources. As Orville states, "Here's Hope is a great program and I hope it goes on forever, but we need permanent funding for that. I hope that by telling my story, people will realize how important the need is for us. I also hope that it will help those in denial about the virus to get tested and get help".

To find an HIV testing site near you, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948). To learn more about Here's Hope and ways you can support them, contact Ms. Carol Davis at Carol_Davis@uss.salvationarmy.org. To learn more about HIV/AIDS in the U.S., visit http://www.AIDS.gov.


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SOURCE The USA Salvation Army Southern Territory
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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