Black HIV Awareness Day At Chattanooga State

CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Shateria Smith, HIV Aids Awareness Campaigner,"I had to bury my father and mother, prematurely because of a decision they made."

Almost 900 Tennesseans contract HIV every year.
 Of those new cases African Americans are more than twice as likely to get infected.

Smith believes lack of education and social pressures are leading to the rising numbers.

Shateria Smith, HIV Aids Awareness Campaigner,"The highest rates of HIV newest cases are from the age group of 13 to 24 and so we find it very important to hit that target age group with full force."

Dozens of Chatt State students were tested today and hundreds attended a special conference on HIV/Aids awareness.

Alicia Cosme, Pre-Veterinary Chatt State Student,"We all good, I know she ain’t got nothing or he got nothing, o my goodness and when you do end up eventually getting tested because you start to get tested, you freak out."

Chatt State’s pharmacy department helped close to 40 students get  tested.

Amy Dyer, Pharmacy-tech student, Chattanooga State,"Our job is to know the drugs that are out there on the market and available for patients and being able to explain how they work and any interactions to look for or any side affects to look for."

Tennessee AIDS Advocacy Network’s Mario Forte demonstrated to students how testing takes just ten seconds.

He added that African American heterosexual males are now the main risk group in Tennessee.

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