Posts Tagged ‘ Savannah State University and Armstrong Atlantic State University ’

African-American Men Stood Strong in Savannah on World AIDS Day 2011

I’ve been attending World AIDS Day events for years now to promote my book “Crooked Road Straight: The Awakening of AIDS Activist Linda Jordan.” My reception today was exceptional. As hundreds of Savannah residents stopped by Forsyth Park in historic Savannah to get tested, I overheard a telephone conversation that demonstrated to me that HIV/AIDS activists are making headway in this town.
“Hey Baby, I just wanted you to know that I’m in the park waiting to get tested for HIV,” the middle-aged man said over his telephone. “I wanted you to know that I’m safe.”
I was floored by what I’d heard. This guy loved his woman, I thought. I stopped to tell him how beautiful I thought he was that he loved himself and his woman enough to get tested.
He shared with me that he did it for selfish reasons. He had dated another woman who had full-blown AIDS and his test results were negative. He was so grateful that he committed to staying HIV negative.
“Wow,” was the only thing I could say. He had tears in his eyes.
Other men and women today demonstrated phenomenal strength as they entered the orange neon tents to obtain their test results.
Hours later, scores gathered as members of the Chatham County Health Department and the Georgia AIDS Coalition partners burned candles in remembrance of those we have lost. I picked up my bags and headed to a social downtown sponsored by the Savannah Chapter of the 100 Black Men and its collegiate chapters at Savannah State and Armstrong Atlantic State University. These groups represent a new generation of folks who also want to end the surge of HIV infections in Savannah, which ranks No. two in the state of Georgia. They stood strong on the promise that together these men and women can and will curb the rate of new infections. Thanks for supporting Crooked Road Straight and for standing strong.