Rev. Andre Allen Applauds Efforts of Metro TeenAIDS to Improve Community Health

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As representatives gathered for the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., young actors performed to highlight the impact AIDS has had on their community. Community leader, Rev. Andre Allen notes that this event raises difficult questions that need to be answered.

Recently, respected voices from around the globe gathered in Washington, D.C. at the 2012 International AIDS Conference to discuss a united approach towards HIV/AIDS prevention and research. With a global focus, very few participants were able to assess how the disease has impacted the very city that hosted the event. However, according to a recent article from The Washington Post, young actors from the Voices of Now program and Metro TeenAIDS gathered during the event to present a unique perspective on the disease, with performances inspired by their own experiences with HIV infections in the nation’s capitol. As a religious leader who seeks to better his Wheaton, Illinois community, Rev. Andre Allen commends these young individuals for bringing light to a sensitive, local issue.

In the article, the stories of these performers are detailed; they crafted these narratives from their own struggles, showing that AIDS has impacted nearly every facet of life in the District of Columbia. While many of the attendees were familiar with how AIDS has destroyed the lives of many across the world, the performance provided a rare perspective that revealed some of the problems that help foster the stigma of the disease. The actors bridged a connection between their stories—many of the community’s problems with AIDS come from a lack of education.

Rev. Andre Allen responds, “This is an encouraging story of young people who are standing up to let their voices be heard and making a positive difference concerning such a devastating issue.” The performance revealed that students were receiving sexual education well after they had become sexually active and that many adults were still disregarding the health benefits of condoms.

When a certain problem, such as AIDS, impacts the entire population of a community, Rev. Andre Allen explains that it can be especially difficult to overcome. He comments, “These actors present a challenging story which indirectly raises the question of what society is doing in regards to the issues of AIDS and AIDS prevention.” Although society may still be searching for an answer, he is encouraged by the way these young members of the community came together to reveal their personal struggles. Allen notes that while AIDS is very much a global issue, he has learned that for communities to overcome their own problems, local residents must act to help find a solution. Rev. Andre Allen continues to take this approach within his own community and shares it with his congregation at New Beginnings Ministries Worldwide.

ABOUT:

Rev. Andre Allen is the Senior Pastor at New Beginnings Ministries Worldwide. Located in Carol Stream, Illinois, he has served in ministry for almost 40 years. He is also the former associate minister of Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked for nearly 12 years. Rev. Andre Allen earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwestern University and also holds a Master of Divinity from the Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Rev. Andre Allen lives with his wife and has five daughters and twelve grandchildren.

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