Forum 35 will hold a panel discussion Tuesday night on why Baton Rouge has the nation’s highest rate of new AIDS cases and what can be done to cut the rate, according to a news release.
The program, “Feeling with the DIS-EASE,” will take place at The Baton Rouge Gallery, 1515 Dalrymple Drive, at 6:30 p.m.
According to its website, Forum 35 is “a community organization of engaged young men and women dedicated to improving and shaping Baton Rouge” founded in 1993.
The expert panel includes Lila Arnaud, a community outreach specialist at Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Women’s Health Education Center; Russell Brewer, director of HIV, STIs and reproductive health at the Louisiana Public Health Institute; and Twanda Lewis, a senior program officer with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
The Baton Rouge metro area ranks No. 1 in the nation in its rate of new AIDS cases after ranking second the past two years, according to 2010 data released in March by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Baton Rouge has a rate of 33.7, which means 33 out of every 100,000 people were newly diagnosed with AIDS in 2010, the d ata show.
The CDC uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Metropolitan Statistical Area to define the Baton Rouge metro area.
It consists of nine parishes: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Livingston and St. Helena.