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Black women have continued to outpace other races when it comes to the rate at which they contract HIV. In fact, in 2018, Black women accounted for 51 percent of all new HIV infections among women in Indiana. Nationally, the figures are just as alarming.

On September 21, a forum will be held at the Raphael Health Center to bring awareness to this important topic with guests Jillian “JJ” Simmons, a radio host and public speaker. Simmons, a survivor of domestic violence, is the author of Without Bruises, and other titles. Simmons is also the founder of the J Darcey AIDS Foundation and Red Tree Tees, two initiatives to raise HIV awareness and to honor the legacies of two relatives she lost to the virus.

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Other guests include legendary HIV/Aids activist, Rae Lewis-Thornton, who shocked the world in 1994 when she elegantly graced the cover of Essence magazine as a heterosexual, non-drug using Black woman who had contracted the HIV virus and later full blown AIDS, which at that time, was still believed to be a disease that only affected intravenous drug users and gay white males. Her “Diva Living with AIDS” message has attracted national and international acclaim.

For more information and to RSVP to, This is a Serious Matter, click here.

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