On December 2nd, 2010, the Urban Issues Institute hosted a special townhall meeting entitled “Ring the Alarm: HIV/AIDS in the Greater Newark Metropolitan Area" to call attention to the impact of the disease. “Education is a major part of trying to reduce the misery created by AIDS related diseases,” said Dr. Margaret Stevens, Director of ECC’s Urban Issues Institute. “It's important to put a human face on this tragedy." As part of the townhall, Pat Shelton, AIDS peer educator and a Person Living AIDS, addressed the crowd of students, health practitioners and community residents.

The disease affects an estimated 41 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization that designated December 1 as World AIDS Day in 1988. Closer to home, the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services reports that there are over 35,000 reported New Jersey residents living with HIV/AIDS as of the end of 2009. In Newark alone, 5,844 people have died from AIDS related disease, close to 1,800 deaths have been linked to AIDS in East Orange and almost 1,000 in Irvington during that same period.

Camera and Editing: Quiana Warner

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