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Clergy, Politicans Study HIV and AIDS Issues

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By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – At a forum Friday in St. Louis, several African-American church leaders agreed to receive training from health officials about the epidemic.

They also pledged to deliver a message of prevention to their churches. The Rev. Sammie Jones is president of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition:

"We have to be smart, we have to educate ourselves and we can't run away from it; we can't put our heads in the sand," Jones said. "And we've said to the church community, it's time for you to come into the 21st century and deal with the issue."

The St. Louis Health Department reports that while African-Americans make up 51 percent of the city's population, they account for more than 75 percent of all new reported cases of HIV infection.

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