Advocates raise awareness, promote prevention on World AIDS Day - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Advocates raise awareness, promote prevention on World AIDS Day

Religious leaders met at a conference in Huntsville, to discuss how to help their congregations in the fights against AIDS. Religious leaders met at a conference in Huntsville, to discuss how to help their congregations in the fights against AIDS.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

As the global effort continues to help stop the spread of HIV and AIDS, advocates are working to raise awareness.

That conversation was held all over the Tennessee Valley, as people observed World AIDS Day.

Religious leaders met at a conference in Huntsville, to discuss how to help their congregations.

Members of the NAACP presented a new tool kit to help these leaders reach out and get the conversation going in communities heavily affected by the virus.

"As I look at the statistics, the facts, and the demographics, the numbers are still rising within the African American community. World AIDS Day is just another opportunity to raise awareness, to encourage testing, and to encourage the conversation that appears to be very difficult for individuals," said NAACP Nation Health Manager, Rev. Keron Sadler.

Meanwhile, the AIDS Action Coalition, in conjunction with the Davis Clinic, held a candlelight vigil in downtown Huntsville Saturday evening.

It gave family members and friends a chance to remember those they have lost.

It also honored those in our community who are still living with the virus.

"Let's not forget there are people living with HIV and AIDS. We don't have a cure for this and we have new people getting infected every day. About 25% of new cases are in young people under the age of 24. We should have learned our lessons long ago," said Davis Clinic CEO, Mary Elizabeth Marr.

The Davis Clinic treats more than 600 patients with HIV and AIDS, but they say the number of those with the virus in our area is much higher.

The clinic is encouraging people to know their status, and get care if they test positive.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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