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HOPE Is Alive in the Virgin Islands

Dear Source:
In June 1981, the world was introduced to a new and peculiar disease now known as the HIV virus. This virus appeared to only affect a particular segment of the world's population. Twenty-six years later, HIV has become a world wide pandemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 14,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. This pandemic has had an impact on the lives of many persons living in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Approximately 900 persons or 1% of persons living in the Territory have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Helping Others in a Positive Environment, Inc. (HOPE Inc.) was created in October 2000 to promote the reduction of HIV/AIDS transmission and other chronic diseases in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Throughout the 2007 fiscal year there have been many angels who have eagerly and effortlessly donated their time and/or services to help eradicate this horrific disease.
On behalf of the entire HOPE family, we would like to say thank you for assisting us with providing services to over 1,000 residents in 2007. More specifically, we would like to sincerely thank the staff of Varlack Ventures, Inc., Global Marine, Boyson Inc, and Boynes Trucking for braving the deep blue seas and transporting our mobile unit, equipment and staff.
A warm felt thanks to E C Service Station in St. John, CM Gas Inc. and Tutu Texaco for redeeming gas cards distributed at our first annual "Gauge Your Status" event.
A belly full of thanks to Starfish Market, Coca Cola and St. John Ice Company for making sure that our workers, volunteers and patrons were feed and their thirsts were quenched.
A heaven filled thanks to Pastor Carlyle Sampson, Shikima Jones Esprit, Evanna Chinnery, Tasha Wells, Jerome Knight, Mrs. Massac's Nursing Agency and our numerous volunteers for extending their care and compassion beyond their daily schedule.
Finally, THANK YOU to YOU the members of our community who took time out to attend our events and for making our efforts to decrease the many health disparities in our community a shining success.
Ivy Moses, Marcia R. Gordon
Rose-Ann Samuel Richardson
Ana Maria Parades

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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