April 30, 2001
'Brothers' conference to focus on AIDS prevention
By Tia Webster
Although African Americans represent only an estimated 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for more than a third of all AIDS cases reported in the country, the highest of any other racial and ethnic group.
A report from the HIV/AIDS Prevention Division of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) concludes that local community leaders should
take the lead in providing HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment education
to help combat the growing epidemic among African Americans.
The AIDS crisis within the African American community is disturbing
and unacceptable, given widespread advances in HIV and AIDS treatment
and survival, said James Curran, director of the Emory-Atlanta Center
for AIDS Research and dean of the School of Public Health. Throughout
its history, the African American community has demonstrated an extraordinary
ability to create strong bonds in the face of adversity, and this epidemic
presents an urgent opportunity for its members to unite in defeating this
Emory Healthcare is hosting a free conference titled, Brothers
Time To Be Responsible, to inform the African American community
about HIV/AIDS. The May 5 event is the fifth in Emorys annual Brothers
minority health series, which focuses on African American men but welcomes
the entire public.
A lot of attention is being paid to the situation in Africa but is somewhat
lacking in local communities. The astounding rate of HIV/AIDS cases in
the African American community continues to swell despite the healthcare
infrastructure, the availability of technology and the vast amount of
information in America.
Our preoccupation with Africa and AIDS is pretty consistent with
how we process other perplexing and unpleasant issues, said Don
Speaks, associate director of Emory Healthcares Office of Community
Affairs and Market Development. Its always easier to help
someone else than it is to acknowledge that we need help too.
Workshops at the Brothers conference will focus on prevention
of HIV/AIDS in men, women, youth and infants. The highlight will be a
series of interactive workshops on intervention strategies focused on
changing the recent HIV infection patterns.
The event is co-sponsored at Emory by the School of Public Health, the
School of Nursing and the Vaccine Research Center. Community sponsors
include the Georgia departments of Commun-ity Health and Public Health;
Planned Parenthood of Georgia; Outreach Inc.; AID Atlanta; the CDC Division
of HIV/AIDS Prevention; WSB-TVs Family 2 Family program;
the Fulton County Health Department; the DeKalb Prevention Alliance; the
DeKalb County Health Depart-ment; the DeKalb chapter of the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People; and Girls Incorporated of
The Brothers conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Decatur. For more information or to register (May 3 deadline), call 404-778-3033 or visit www.minority-health.org.