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
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."