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Dire HIV numbers demand new responses for gay men

Staggering HIV numbers in the African-American community

Uri Butler is a natural in front of the camera. His tall, lanky frame and soft features project confidence, love, happiness — all easily captured by a professional photographer.

Butler, 20, said he’s thought of being a model and quickly scans through his cell phone to show photos of him posing in other shoots. Right now, though, he is a junior majoring in biology at Fort Valley State University, located about 90 miles south of Atlanta, and dreams of becoming a nurse.

But on Aug. 13, Butler took a break from his studies to pose for the Evolution Project’s new media campaign, set to launch in September to reach out to black, gay young men about HIV prevention. The Evolution Center, a project of AID Atlanta located on Juniper Street, offers programming and resources as well as HIV testing specifically aimed at black gay men.