2011-03-18 / Community

HIV/AIDS Event Held In Far Rockaway

Olu Fadugba (left) and the president of ROI (right) shaking hands. Olu Fadugba (left) and the president of ROI (right) shaking hands. February 7 was National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day.

“Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS continues to have a disproportionate impact on African Americans, so on that day, we remember all the friends we’ve lost, all the friends fighting to stop this epidemic, and all our friends who are fighting for their lives,” says a spokesperson for Redemption Outreach International, which, under the sponsorship of National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, organized an HIV/AIDS conference at Berea Community of Jesus Christ on February 12, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

According to the sponsors, the event was highly interactive and both men and women freely voiced their opinions in various areas regarding the disease and its stigma.

One of the participants blamed the medical community for the stigma associated with the disease. According to the speaker, right from the outbreak of the virus, it was mainly attributed to sex and promiscuity rather than other means of contact. Addressing the participants the president of the outreach said that the event is part of ROI’s tenth anniversary project, with a focus on developing policies and advocacy strategies that would be meaningful for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Ada Okika and Frances Ndika moderated the event and presenters included Denise Sterling, Olu Fad-ugba and Alan Chen from Rockaway Manor Home Care. At the hall, resource materials were distributed and Pastor Femi Oyekunle gave a powerful vote of thanks and emplored every participant to go out and make a difference in their community, bearing in mind the theme of this year’s awareness – “It takes a village to stop the spread of HIV.”

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