TRENTON - The
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has released
a new video - "Sharing Help, Sharing Hope" - that shows
how some minority communities can mobilize against HIV/AIDS.
video highlights efforts in East Orange, Trenton and Atlantic City
to raise AIDS awareness among African-Americans and Latinos, and
link the efforts of a wide range of faith-based groups, health and
social service organizations, advocacy groups and others. Free
copies of the video are available for community groups to encourage
similar efforts in other towns by calling 609-292-6962.
at risk include those in groups disproportionately affected by HIV
- including African-Americans, Latinos, injecting drug users and
their partners, young adult men who have sex with other men, and
women with multiple sex partners. Anyone concerned about his or
her HIV status should seek counseling and testing.
HIV/AIDS epidemic has been devastating to the minority community,"
said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.
"Getting tested is a vital step anyone at risk can take right
now. Earlier diagnosis means earlier medical treatment, which can
prolong and improve the quality of life of people with HIV."
the beginning of the epidemic more than 20 years ago, about 60,000
New Jersey residents have been reported to have HIV/AIDS. While
African-Americans account for only 13 percent of the state's population,
nearly 60 percent of those diagnosed in recent years have been African-American.
Latinos account for 13 percent of the population and 19 percent
of new cases.
Help, Sharing Hope" is a 12-minute video produced by the department's
Office of Minority and Multicultural Health and New Jersey Network.
The video was produced as part of a three-year, federally funded
program to assess communities' needs in HIV prevention, develop
linkages among local groups and traditional AIDS groups, and offer
technical advice and training - in grant-writing and the use of
technology, for example - so that non-traditional groups can get
more involved in dealing with AIDS in minority communities.
East Orange and Trenton developed their own Sharing Networks with
representatives from many community groups. In Atlantic City, most
of the work has been done under the auspices of another department
program, Project IMPACT (Intensive Mobilization to Promote AIDS
Awareness through Community-Based Technologies).
their own, these community groups have done important work to improve
the lives of those they serve," said Linda Holmes, Executive
Director of the department's Office of Minority and Multicultural
Health. "It has been exciting to provide a forum where these
groups can come together, for the first time in many cases, and
form partnerships that will benefit both the organizations and the
part of the program, the department provided about $50,000 for a
number of small projects. For example, East Orange and Trenton have
developed their own web sites to share information and to post activities.
In East Orange, teens serve as peer educators raising AIDS awareness
among other teens. Educational workshops for church leaders and
an HIV/AIDS resource directory are among other local projects.
information on the nearest HIV testing and counseling site, call
the New Jersey AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-624-2377. The Hotline is
open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All counseling and testing
sites use Ora-Sure for HIV testing, which is a simple, non-invasive
oral procedure. A special swab is used between the cheek and gum
to obtain a sample that is then tested for HIV antibodies.
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of HIV testing and counseling Sites in New Jersey