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.



Lee University Welcomes New Faculty

Lee University welcomed 14 new faculty members this fall, including eight from among the Schools of Music, Nursing, and Religion, along with the Helen DeVos College of Education and the Squires Library.  Lenena Brezna joins the Lee faculty as a lecturer in voice. Prior to Lee, Ms. Brezna taught music appreciation and was a voice instructor at the University of Memphis. She ... (click for more)

Tennessee Treasury Department To Host Series Of Webinars On Saving For College

In celebration of College Savings Month, the Tennessee Treasury Department wants to help make college planning easier. Beginning Sept. 10, the department will host a series of free web-based seminars - or webinars - on topics related to college savings. These webinars will include information about the TNStars 529 College Savings Plan, which allows people to save money for children’s ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)