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Black HIV/Aids Conference Targets Disease Disparities

Tom Flanigan

Even as the overall rate of HIV and Aids is going down, the incidence among African-Americans remains high. A three-day seminar in Tallahassee was addressing that over the weekend.

The Friday-through-Sunday session at the Leon County Health Department on Orange Avenue was hosted by the Black Treatment Advocates of the Big Bend. The group's Kiera Dell was a prime organizer.

"It's very important that we have training like this for our providers and community members, health professionals and so on to understand HIV from all aspects," she remarked

One of the presenters was Maxx Boykin, national organizer for the Black Aids Institute who said the issue has a political component, which doesn't have to mean partisan.

"Certain communities are disproportionally impacted, mainly due to different access and resources and we want to make sure that is illuminated and that that changes no matter who is in office and this is a human issue no matter the political party."

Estimates peg the number of people in Leon County with HIV at 1,300. More than 65% identify themselves as black.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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