Civil rights activist Al Sharpton speaks to BR community on HIV/AIDS

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POSTED: Friday, February 28, 2014 - 10:58pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 3, 2014 - 11:17am

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton gave his stance on HIV/AIDS and dozens filled Greater King David Baptist Church to listen in.

Community member Denise Cosey said, "For them to get the knowledge, it's a wonderful thing."

And although Sharpton was only able to join BR via skype due to a flight delay,that didn't stop community members from asking questions.  Fourteen-year-old Jasmine Elliott wanted to know what the government is doing to help those needing support.  "I asked that question to help us about STD's and HIV and AIDS and for our State."  

African Americans make up nearly half of all HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. and Latinos--21%. Many of these people don't have access to care. Sharpton says it's not just a health issue anymore. It's a civil rights issue.

"That is unequal and unfair. An inequality is civil rights. Civil rights is an inequality," said Sharpton.

The AIDS healthcare Foundation helps Sharpton take information across the country.

"Make sure that we have the resources, the research, and every, every,available effort for testing to mend something that is wrong," added Sharpton.  Leaders at home say they're glad something is being done.

Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle said, "It's a real problem. We all need to see what we can do together to combat and make those numbers go down, and eventually go away."

Cosey added, "and they know where they can get the help from if they need the help...I think they should have these more often."

Others are inspired.  "I see other people who want help and could not get it, because of the economy and what we go through in Baton Rouge, Louisiana," said Elliott. 

For support and information from The AIDS Healthcare Foundation,  visit

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