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.



Cleveland State's Continuing Education Department Announces Fall Line Up

The Department of Continuing Education at Cleveland State Community College has a new line up of classes for fall. The upcoming classes are as follows:   ?         Beginning Microsoft Excel This beginning Microsoft Excel course is designed to help individuals gain basic skills in working and implementing Excel software ... (click for more)

Cleveland State To Offer AT&T Aspire Grant To Adult Students

Cleveland State Community College partnered with AT&T to offer five $1000 scholarships to non-traditional adult students in technology fields through the AT&T Aspire Grant. The adult scholarship program will complement the Reconnect + Completion Grant program by providing five scholarships for each community college to aid underserved non-traditional students in ... (click for more)

$30 Million Development Planned At King And South Market; Will Include Hotel, Condos, Offices, Retail, Possible Restaurant

A new $30 million development is planned for the Southside at King Street and South Market. Nick Wilkinson, city deputy director for economic development, said it will include a hotel, condos, offices, retail and possibly a restaurant. It could also include some light industry. A storage building and a parking lot are now at the site. He said the developers plan to reuse ... (click for more)

DA's Office Defends Suspended Sentence In School Bus Driver Rape Case

The District Attorney's Office defended a controversial suspended sentence in a rape case involving a substitute county school bus driver. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said the victim, who was 15 years old at the time of the March 2015 incident, was in agreement on the plea and refused to testify against Alexander Rodriquez. Rodriguez, 34, last Thursday pleaded guilty to ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Mike Carter’s Genius

Mike Carter, who has just been chosen as the “Best Overall” member of the Tennessee Legislature by a group known as the Tennessee Forum and “Legislator of the Year” by Citizens for Home Rule, is truly both. A lawyer and then a Sessions Court judge for 8 ½ years, he is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term during next Thursday’s election and rightly so. While it is laudable ... (click for more)