Advocacy Groups fighting spread of AIDS in South Florida

Miami-Dade County No. 1 in state for new cases

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Miami-Dade County ranks number one in the state for new HIV and AIDS cases.  Broward County is number two and Florida ranks third in the nation in the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections.

The numbers are startling so, it is no surprise that AIDS advocacy groups are coming up with new ways to stop the spread of the virus.  

AIDS Health Care Foundation is mixing faith with HIV Awareness with new billboards around South Florida. The campaign features people in shirts that read "HIV-Positive" coupled with the simple text, "God Loves Me." It's the first time the group has used religion in their campaigns.

The Broward Associate Director for the Testing Program AIDS Healthcare Foundation Greg Jacques says, "The primary purpose of the billboards is challenge the stigma in the faith based community."

For years, the Mount Olive Development Corporation has been using this concept in reaching those in the faith based community who live with HIV. They offer housing to those living with HIV, giving them a chance to get on their feet. Former participant with the program, Yolonda Reed says " They did not make you feel like a ternate. They made you feel like you were a part of the family."

So far the billboards are growing in popularity. They can be spotted along highways in California, Washington DC and in Mississippi.

The campaign lasts for another three months.

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