Rev. Sharpton will not attend AIDS forum, will speak via Skype - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Rev. Sharpton will not attend AIDS forum, will speak via Skype

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Officials announced that National Civil Rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton will not attend tonight's AIDS awareness campaign.

"Due to extenuating travel delays resulting from bad weather, Keynote speaker Reverend Al Sharpton will be unable to attend tonight's town hall forum.." a press release explains. "Reverend Sharpton will instead speak to the audience through a live Skype video feed."

Sharpton was scheduled to speak at Greater King David Baptist Church, 222 Blount Road, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event is part of the "Aids is a Civil Rights issue" national campaign since it disproportionately affects African Americans and Latinos. According to the CDC, Baton Rouge has some of the highest case rates in the country. That's something that has persisted over the last decade.

"We're trying to get community leaders and the faith-based community more involved," says John Reed with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is sponsoring the event. "We want to get folks involved and see what we can do to slow this disease down."

Presenters for the event include Mayor Kip Holden, Johnny Anderson, Hon. Cleo Fields, Pastor John Sanders, Eugene Collins, Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle, Dr. Waref Azmeh, and Reverend A.J. Johnson.

Officials says they also want to encourage more people to get tested.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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