Bessie Smith Cultural Center Hosts National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Event Feb. 6

Friday, January 31, 2014

Organized over a decade ago, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an opportunity to promote HIV prevention, testing, and treatment among Blacks. The theme for the 2014 awareness day is “We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For”, emphasizing Blacks getting involved as leaders in the community to raise awareness, promote testing, and encourage treatment.

On Thursday, February 6 at 6 p.m. EST, Jamar Rogers, former Finalist of NBC’s ‘The Voice’ will perform at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. Martin L. King Blvd., Chattanooga, TN in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. 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 the light in the darkest time of his life and began to turn things around.

Acknowledging his experience, Jamar Rogers says, “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% of the population, but approximately 50% 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% of the population and make up 62% of new cases and 44% 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. Heath Department stated, “Nationally 1 in 6 people are unaware of their status. The test is free. Take the test, know your status.”


Annie Christmas Party Held For Foster Children

The Carmike Theater at Bradley Square Mall in Cleveland had an Annie Christmas party for foster children and their foster  parents at the Public Library in Chattanooga. The theater has adopted the Foster parent program as a community outreach program. Four county foster programs were invited to the library for the event - Hamilton County, Bradley, McMinn and ... (click for more)

Holiday Hours At Creative Discovery Museum

Creative Discovery Museum will be observing the following schedule during the last week and a half of December: Closed Wednesday, Dec. 24 Closed Thursday, Dec. 25 Open regular hours Dec. 26-31 Open from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1    (click for more)

TVA Sues Cleveland's Allan Jones Over Dock, Retaining Wall, Boat Ramp, Boathouse On Hiwassee River

TVA has sued Cleveland, Tn., Check Into Cash millionaire W. Allan Jones Jr. over the construction of a dock, retaining wall, boat ramp and boathouse on the Hiwassee River. In the lawsuit in Federal Court, TVA said it told Mr. Jones before the construction was finished that he was on TVA property. The complaint says he has refused to move the construction from the river. ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)