MANATEE -- Every year millions across the globe celebrate Worlds AIDS Day as an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
In honor of this day, the Manatee County NAACP chapter will hold its annual AIDS day breakfast in Bradenton at 8 a.m. Dec. 6 at Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church, 1006 First St. W.
A hot breakfast, including eggs, sausage and grits, will be served while guests hear various speakers from the community discuss how the disease is affecting Manatee County residents.
The event raises community awareness and support in Manatee County, along with updating treatment options, said Susie Copeland, Manatee County NAACP president.
She said the chapter has teamed with the Manatee County Health Department the past seven years on the event, but this is the organization's first year organizing it.
"This year we are taking the lead on things," Copeland said. "The health department is still our partner. We just took on the leadership role."
World AIDS day is Sunday. Nearly 30 year years ago HIV and AIDS became household words, but the virus and the disease it causes surfaces in nearly 10,000 more Floridians every year -- up to 100 in Manatee County, according to a 2011 Bradenton Herald report.
In Florida during 2012, the number of HIV-related deaths decreased 8 percent from the previous year and 79 percent since the peak in 1995. Since 2007, HIV-related deaths in Florida have declined each year, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Copeland said the HIV/AIDS progress is astounding
in Manatee County. But more is needed. "We want people to become aware of it, let them know there's help and support," Copeland said.
Although the event is free to the public, donations will accepted to help find a cure for the disease, said Tarnisha Cliatt media relations director for the Manatee County NAACP. Deadline to register for the breakfast is Friday, but people can call before the event to register. The Manatee County NAACP could not readily give details on the what organization the donations will the given, however, people can call 941-545-5992 for details.
Information: HIV/AIDS and testing, call the Manatee County Health Department at 941-748-0747.
Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.