Almost 15 years ago, Jennifer Poore thought that only gay men could get HIV/AIDS and that it was spread through saliva. But when her daughter was diagnosed with the disease and Poore lost a grandchild to AIDS complications, she decided to get informed. Today, Poore is the facilitator of a HIV prevention program in North Carolina where she and her children raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the black community. Asheville’s Citizen-Times reports:

“I know what my family went through because of this disease,” Poore said. “So nothing feels more important to me than educating other people on how to not let this happen to another family.

“This is an epidemic, but it’s a preventable one, and that gives me a lot of hope.”

In 2005, Poore became the first facilitator in Asheville of the now nationally recognized program Sisters Informing Sisters About Topics on AIDS, known as SISTA. She has now taught almost 200 women how to reduce the risk of HIV infection through a training program. African-American women are among those at the highest risk for infection.

“Jennifer just has a real passion for this work, and she’s a great representative of the community,” said WNCAP education coordinator Michelle Martin. “She is able to really meet people where they are, and that’s a big part of this cause.”

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