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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
FLORIDA: Man Up Summit Educates Young Men on Their Choices
Sandra J. Charite
February 22, 2010
Miami Times (02.16.10) - Monday, February 22, 2010

The goal of the "Man Up to Fight HIV/AIDS" summit, held in December at the Joseph Caleb Center in Brownsville, was to start a dialogue with inner-city young men about their health and relationships, organizers said.

"[STDs] are hurting our community. The mentality of our young people is they think it can't happen to them," said Ron Henderson, statewide minority AIDS coordinator with the Florida Department of Health. "HIV is 100 percent preventable." Miami Urban League President T. Willard Fair organized the summit, partnering with Miami-Dade Schools, after learning the impact HIV/AIDS is having on area African Americans. According to state health department data, Miami-Dade ranks number-one in Florida in HIV and AIDS cases.

"This is something that must be discussed in a conversation between men and boys," said Fair. "This is our community where this is occurring." Summit moderator Darryl Auberry, an educator/trainer with Abstinence Between Strong Teens, said young black men must take responsibility for their sexual health. "Right here, at your age, you must decide what path you want to take," he told the teens. "I believe a man can be abstinent and have control over his body." "If you are sexually active, then you need to take an HIV test annually," said Henderson. "Make sure you inform your partner of your status."

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