By Sharon T. McCantsSpecial to CSMS NewsI remember back in the 80’s there were more public service announcements, events with money being raised to help with the crisis, support from artists singing about safe sex. Protest marches with people demanding that the government do something! Public awareness was visible everywhere; posters telling us to get tested, volunteers at hospitals rocking HIV/AIDS infected babies to sleep. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has ravaged our communities. It is no longer a Gay Disease. Women of color, babies, and the elderly are now its most prevalent victims. The elderly? Can this be due to drugs that enable men to have prolonged sexual intercourse?As reported by The Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Blacks comprise 14% of Florida’s population, but 47% of the 95,141 AIDS cases and 55% of the 32,113 HIV cases reported through December 2003. In 2003, blacks accounted for 45% of AIDS cases in men, and 70% of those in women. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for both male and female blacks aged 25 to 44 years. It is estimated that 49,100 blacks in Florida are currently living with HIV infection. An estimated 1 in 46 blacks are HIV-infected, compared to 1 in 176 Hispanics and 1 in 346 whites.”“In the United States 21,169 AIDS cases were reported among blacks in 2002, representing half of the total 42,136 cases. Sixty-five percent of all women reported with AIDS in 2002 were black. Lastly, Black children represented 68% of all reported pediatric AIDS cases in 2002.”So when are we going to get the posters plastered up, letting our brother and sisters know what is going on around them? Who will write the new lyrics about our demise? So, do something! Millennium Middle School, is hosting its 1st Annual PAMPER Parent’s Night, on Friday, May 20th, from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. During this event we will pamper our parents with an energizing and enriching experience. We are located in Tamarac, Florida. Information will be available at this event regarding the virus, testing, and what you can do to protect yourself. This event’s purpose is to support our parents and our community.Sharon T. McCants is a well-respected science teacher at Millennium Middle School, a thriving middle school in Broward County, Florida, where diversity is always the norm. She may be reached at: Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org
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