MIAMI, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS is the leading
cause of death for African American women ages 25-34 today. HIV
infections could be reduced by 30 percent per year if all HIV
infected persons knew of their infection and adopted behavioral
changes to limit the spread of the disease. The Southern AIDS
Living Quilt, www.livingquilt.org, is a unique project that
collects and shares video and audio stories from women on the
front lines of the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS. The
Living Quilt highlights the need for routine testing, early
diagnosis, and increased access to care for those living with
HIV/AIDS in the South.
"We must turn the tide on the 56,000 new HIV infections
annually," said Tom Liberti, Board Member of the Southern AIDS
Coalition and Chief of the Bureau of HIV/AIDS for Florida's
Department of Health. "Nationally, Florida ranks fourth highest
in AIDS case rates and second in the number of AIDS cases
reported. It is critical that we act now."
In an effort to increase awareness of this crisis in the South,
today's presentation of the Living Quilt at the University of
Miami's Miller School of Medicine, Mailman Center for Child
Development brought together representatives from the Southern
AIDS Coalition, Care Resource and Promote to Prevent (P2P).
"The stories that make up this quilt will empower young women to
get tested and know their status," said Alex Moreno, Director of
the P2P Program and Adolescent Outreach and Education at the
University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. "I urge young
Latinas across the region to share their stories and prevent the
spread of HIV."
The true power of the Living Quilt project is in the stories it
shares and the inspiration it brings to others. While some are
telling their stories for the first time, others have embraced
the importance of communicating the changing face of HIV/AIDS.
Visitors can also upload stories of their own, becoming part of
the Quilt through their own unique narrative. The Living Quilt
site also provides valuable information and resources on HIV and
AIDS, including where to find testing resources across the United
HIV/AIDS in Florida
HIV disproportionately affects minorities in Florida:
-- Nationally, Florida ranks fourth highest in AIDS case rates
and second in the number of AIDS cases reported.
-- Women make up almost one third of people living with HIV/AIDS
in Florida in 2006. Today, there are more than 25,000 women
living with HIV/AIDS in Florida.
-- More than 80 percent of these women living with HIV/AIDS in
Florida are minorities (70 percent African American and 13
About the Southern AIDS Coalition
The Southern AIDS Coalition was formed in 2001 as a membership
organization of government representatives, corporations, and
community advocates. This unique partnership is borne from the
burgeoning numbers of people whose new infection rates are much
higher than the rest of the U.S. population. SAC highlights that
federal funds do not meet the needs of those living with HIV in
the South and are not equally distributed across the country. SAC
works to provide southern citizens an opportunity for adequate
HIV/AIDS prevention information, treatment, and health care. SAC
is a federally recognized 501(c)3.
About Test for Life
Test for Life is an educational campaign that began in 2006 by
the National Minority Quality Forum--a non-profit research and
educational organization dedicated to ensuring that high-risk
racial and ethnic populations and communities receive optimal
health care. Test for Life raises awareness of the importance of
routine HIV screening in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Source: Southern AIDS Coalition
CONTACT: Southern AIDS Living Quilt, +1-800-461-6946,
Web Site: http://www.livingquilt.org/