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Lewes, Delaware
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July 11, 1997     Cape Gazette
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26 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 11 - July 17, 1997 She talks about the importance ,Sisters Continued from page 22 health contract that created Sister to Sister, and after publicizing the formation of the group in late win- ter, she has seen a core group of committed women bond and move forward, determined to take their message into the greater communities. Sondra Matthis lost three of her friends to AIDS in the last two years. She refuses to accept that behavior can't be changed, and her participation in Sister to Sister reflects that. Shared problems "Lack of awareness in the com- munity, fear, denial, these things are killing people," Matthis said. "Too many people say, 'I don't do those kinds of things, so I don't have to worry about [AIDS, drugs, teenage pregnancy].' But that's not so. These problems are all of ours. They are in all age groups." of using protection when elagag- ing in sexual relations, and of teaching IV drug users to clean the needles and syringes (works) that they use. All agree that the drug usage should be discouraged, but the fact is that it exists, and the rising numbers of African Ameri- can women with AIDS is due, in part, from sharing works with Tn- fected users. Group members say that com- munity churches are often sup- portive of health informational programs, but they think that churches and schools need to be more aware and involved with such issues. They know that mak- ing information about condoms, including making them available, is touchy in many segments of the community, but they feel that it is vital. And any discussion about the prevention of HIV infection has to include talk of sexuality and sex practices. "You never heard 'Girl, go get a condom.' We just heard 'Don't have sex.' Girls today need to hear more than that,, said Terry Hagging. "-Since I changed my life, I want to help other women. It's good for us to learn, so we can go out, go where women are and pass it on, sister to sister." Ruth Quinones, a social worker and counselor with Children and Families First, pointed out that statistics show HIV occurrence in African American women and teen pregnanci_es in the same group are on the rise. She said, "We could kill two birds with one stone if young women were more informed about prevention and safe sex. Few of them know about the female con- dom. With that women have con- trol and can take care of them- selves." The members of Sister to Sister realize that talking about the most intimate part of life is often diffi- cult. Some met with poor response when they attempted a survey that included questions regarding the sexual habits of the participant. "Even if they know that it is confidential, people don't like to Sondra Matthis (1) shares a point with Deborah Cheatwood at a recent meeting of Sister to Sister. which meets at Chil- dren and Families First in Georgetown. tell you about their sex life," Ha- gans said. "A survey is part of this program, but I had a problem get- ting people to fill it out." Straight.talk needed Linda Lewis said that someone has to be bold enough to talk in a direct fashion to other women. She said that communication is good in her family, and it started with her mother. "My mother speaks right up to, me; she speaks up to me, my kids, her other kids," Lewis said. "Some young people don't want to hear it fi:om the older genera- tion, but it needs to be said." Lewis is a family coordinator with the Office of Prevention. Esther Savage pointed out that many grandparents are the care Continued on page 27 EVERYBODY LOVES WILSON'S sunshine ROSE ORAGE - $80 a Year Special Open AII Year Round TREA T Y00omeo00ne -The Pet Problem Solver BoB PARKER & SON'S Natural Carpet and Upholstery Shampooing Biological Pest and Termite Control Authorized Toll Free 1-888-736-1020 Serving All Of Sussex County [ CANO(E RENTALS $6R1 to r for8,ears HRS-$20) ,__J A Summer Rose Bouquet i FRI00E-' FREE A Large Seleon of Wildflowers TERMITE i Grel'za , =l==au= INSPECTION ]For examination : of any pest l :problem. ; Expires 8/1/97 I SILK & SANDS FLORIST 1007 Kings Highway Lewes, DE 645-9891 Right.at Wilmington Bank from Route 5, 309 Front Street, Milton, DE 19968 Call 684-3425 Expires 8/1/97 I am a male 4 month old Pug - Terrier mix tan & black. My name is Pug. I am a tan tiger white chest & feet a 1 year old male and very loveable. My name is Jackie. I am a neutral 3 year old female & I'm housebroken. I love kids. I am a chesapeake mix and have all my shots. Dog & cat food, dog biscuits & treats, dog & cat toys, old towels, newspapers, etc. Homer S/mbols from Advenced Nutrition de, food ba , cans & biscuits. The mean cash to us! Call Mary 302-856-7380 Delaware or come to 00PCA 326 S. DuPonetown, Delaware 19947 Be sure to clean up after your dog, especially if you're in a park or other public place. People take pride in a clean community. FINS 'N 33 Midway Shopping Center Rehoboth Beach 645-7466