South Florida Sun-Sentinel (06.27.09) - Thursday, July 02,
An anthology published by the Palm Beach County Health
Department is helping raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in the
black community, one of the groups hit hardest by the disease.
Twenty-five contributors created essays, photos, and poems for
"Unleashed Voices: Silence is Death," which was edited by
Lorenzo Robertson, PBCHD's regional minority HIV/AIDS
coordinator. The department printed 1,000 copies and is
offering them free to the public, including through the county
"It's extremely important that we keep other generations safe
from HIV," said Robertson, who is also the state health
department's coordinator for sexual health among black men who
have sex with men. Diagnosed with HIV in 1997 after being
infected through unprotected sex, Robertson said he refuses to
remain silent and is channeling his energies into advocacy.
"I did the most gut-wrenching thing and it was to write
exactly what I felt," said contributor Kevin Spencer of Fort
Lauderdale, who described his essay as "raw."
Education is the key to keeping future generations safe from
HIV, said Caroline Hill, a contributor and AIDS advocate at
United Deliverance Community Resource Center in West Palm
Beach. Hill said misinformation about HIV/AIDS is common,
including the myth that the government has cured AIDS for
wealthy people like NBA great Earvin "Magic" Johnson.