Chattanooga State Features Jamar Rogers For National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Friday, January 31, 2014
Jamar Rogers
Jamar Rogers

Chattanooga State’s Community Health Institute presents National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day featuring Jamar Rogers, former finalist of NBC’s The Voice, on Wednesday, February 5 at 10 a.m. in the Humanities Theatre. The program includes exhibits with giveaways, free on-site HIV screenings, and a question and answer session with health professionals. The program is offered in partnership with Tennessee Department of Health, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, Chattanooga Cares, Channels of Love Ministries, The Home Place, Ryan B White Part B Program, Minority AIDS Initiative and the Southeast-TN Development District. The event is free and open to the public.

Growing up, Jamar showed tremendous talent for singing as early as six years of age, but soon fell prey to the emotional problems that come with growing up in a fatherless household and became addicted to drugs to fill the missing piece.  As his life began to spiral out of control, the unthinkable happened; Jamar was declared HIV-positive. Completely broken, Jamar somehow found light in the darkest time of his life and began to turn things around.

Acknowledging his experience, Jamar Rogers said, “my message is that of love and of redemption, that you can put your mind to whatever you want to and I don’t care what it is you have been through. If you are willing to live your best life; you really can do that.”

Jamar Rogers is one of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV infection in United States. According to federal statistics, every nine and a half minutes another person in the U.S. is infected with HIV contributing to approximately 50,000 new infections in the U.S. each year. Statistics in the southern region of the United States are alarming. The South accounts for only 37 percent of the population, but approximately 50 percent of new HIV diagnoses. In Tennessee, there were a total of 923 new cases of HIV and 19,083 people living with HIV by the end of 2012. HIV is primarily transmitted through unprotected sex and sharing needles with someone who has HIV. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but it is preventable and treatable. 

“After 30 years, we have made significant strides, but our work is not done until we end HIV transmission. We must continue our collective community education, prevention, testing, and treatment efforts. We must also address the root causes of HIV,” says Dr. Shanell L. McGoy, Director of the HIV/STD Section, Tennessee Department of Health. 

Helen Adams, Minority AIDS Initiative Coordinator at the Tennessee Department of Health says, “African-Americans comprise the burden of HIV, both nationally and in the State of Tennessee. In Hamilton County (Chattanooga), African-Americans represent approximately 20 percent of the population and make up 62 percent of new cases and 44 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS as of 2012. There are many social factors that contribute to HIV among African-Americans—poverty, not knowing one’s status, stigma, fear, homophobia, and even compliancy, but there is hope. Jamar Rogers is proof that you can overcome any obstacle and live a full life with a positive status.”

Laurie Tucker, STD Supervisor, Chattanooga-Hamilton Co. Health Department said, “Nationally one in six people are unaware of their status. The test is free. Take the test, know your status.”

For more information about the event, scall 697-2568.



Women Entrepreneur Symposium To Be Held Tuesday

The WE women entrepreneur symposium (formerly named Women At The Top Symposium or W.A.T.T.S) will be held on Tuesday, August 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Stratton Hall. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Honorary WE Chairperson, invites all women entrepreneurs to a symposium featuring Sloane Scott, a.k.a. the “Digital Diva” of FLO Thinkery, as the keynote speaker, ... (click for more)

Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch Is This Weekend

PEF, Benwood and HCDE in collaboration with CO.LAB will host the first Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch August 1-3.  More than 20 teams of Hamilton County teachers will gather during the weekend at Society of Work to develop pitches for their innovative education ideas.  The culminating Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch Pitch Event showcasing these innovative pitches will ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)