SWLA focuses attention on HIV/AIDS on 'World AIDS Day' - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA focuses attention on HIV/AIDS on 'World AIDS Day'

Source: Christian Piekos Source: Christian Piekos
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

For close to 30 years, the world has dedicated December 1 to recognizing those dealing with HIV or AIDS. Friday, the Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council (SLAC) made sure the voices of those dealing with the virus or condition were heard.

"I wanted to die because I felt all alone," said Darrell Latin, who tested positive for HIV close to 25 years ago. "I got hooked on heroin and it kind of just snowballed from there."

Despite contracting the virus, Latin has dedicated his life to further educating the public on the virus and how it can be prevented.

"My goal and my purpose is to reach the community, especially the addicted community," said Latin. "I come from that community, I can relate to them and they can relate to me."

Latin's efforts to highlight the life-altering effects of HIV could not be more important here in Southwest Louisiana.

"Over these 15 years, it's really averaged 40 to 42 new cases every year," said Carol Giles, director of client services for SLAC. "That has not changed, which is something I struggle with."

To make matters worse, Giles said she's seeing increasingly younger crowds with the virus.

"I think they have not experienced AIDS as the kind of epidemic that many of us saw in the '80s and '90s," said Giles.

She said a likely solution is pretty rudimentary.

"I want people to protect themselves," said Giles. "Not to depend on other people to take care of them."

Although Friday is World AIDS Day, Latin treats every day just as importantly.

"I have such a positive outlook now," said Latin. "I'm more uplifted, spirited, encouraged and empowered today."

To learn more about the resources available through SLAC, click HERE.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • John's riverboat proposal gains approval

    John's riverboat proposal gains approval

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 9:49 AM EDT2018-04-25 13:49:44 GMT
    Louisiana Legislature (Source: KPLC)Louisiana Legislature (Source: KPLC)
    Louisiana Legislature (Source: KPLC)Louisiana Legislature (Source: KPLC)
    Louisiana's senators have agreed to allow the state's riverboat casinos to move on land. The Senate voted 22-14 Tuesday for the proposal by Sen. Ronnie Johns, a Lake Charles Republican. The measure would allow Louisiana's 15 riverboat casinos to conduct gambling activities within 1,200 feet on land from where the riverboat is berthed and remove the requirement the riverboats have an operable paddlewheel. It also would redefine the limits on gambling space.More >>
    Louisiana's senators have agreed to allow the state's riverboat casinos to move on land. The Senate voted 22-14 Tuesday for the proposal by Sen. Ronnie Johns, a Lake Charles Republican. The measure would allow Louisiana's 15 riverboat casinos to conduct gambling activities within 1,200 feet on land from where the riverboat is berthed and remove the requirement the riverboats have an operable paddlewheel. It also would redefine the limits on gambling space.More >>
  • Dreams Come True helps children with life-threatening illnesses.

    Dreams Come True helps children with life-threatening illnesses.

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 9:10 AM EDT2018-04-25 13:10:08 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Dreams Come True is a nonprofit that was founded to help provide dreams to children facing life-threatening illnesses. Their mission is to restore the beauty found in the dreams of children by providing happiness, support, and encouragement to children and their families. Founded in 1982 in Denham Springs, Louisiana, Dreams Come True is a mostly volunteer-based organization. They are now able to grant around 50 to 60 wishes every year throughout the state. If you would like to lea...

    More >>

    Dreams Come True is a nonprofit that was founded to help provide dreams to children facing life-threatening illnesses. Their mission is to restore the beauty found in the dreams of children by providing happiness, support, and encouragement to children and their families. Founded in 1982 in Denham Springs, Louisiana, Dreams Come True is a mostly volunteer-based organization. They are now able to grant around 50 to 60 wishes every year throughout the state. If you would like to lea...

    More >>
  • TEEN REPORT: Jump Start program helps students get jobs after graduating

    TEEN REPORT: Jump Start program helps students get jobs after graduating

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:59 AM EDT2018-04-25 12:59:22 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    When you think of a typical school day, you may think of only books, writing, and tests, but, Tanner Simon's day as a senior at Sulphur High is not one that you would expect. He is earning credentials and valuable experience at school thanks to the Jump Start program. Jump Start director Tony McCardle believes this is an exciting opportunity for students. He says, "Business and industry are always contacting our department and looking to hire these students and they have alread...

    More >>

    When you think of a typical school day, you may think of only books, writing, and tests, but, Tanner Simon's day as a senior at Sulphur High is not one that you would expect. He is earning credentials and valuable experience at school thanks to the Jump Start program. Jump Start director Tony McCardle believes this is an exciting opportunity for students. He says, "Business and industry are always contacting our department and looking to hire these students and they have alread...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly