Advocates working to combat the stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS say too many labels are keeping people from being tested. World AIDS Day was yesterday. Jackson is ranked fourth in the nation for HIV infections and more than 9,000 Mississippians are living with the disease. Evonne Kaho is a transgender female who supports those living with the infection through her nonprofit. She tells us help is out there for those who need it.
Mississippians have until December 15 to get health insurance on January first under the Affordable Care Act. The current open enrollment period started on the first of November. So far this period, 18,000 Mississippians have signed up for the coverage. Though the election of Donald Trump has many wondering about the future of Obamacare, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says a complete repeal of the government health care insurance program is unlikely. She speaks with MPB's Karen Brown.
Though this year's drought has been noticed by Christmas tree farmers in the state, it has not harmed Mississippi's coniferous crop overall this year. The Mississippi State University Extension Service projects tree farms will bring in about $1.7 million this season, selling more than 30,000 trees. MPB's Mark Rigsby talked with Christmas tree farmer Lloyd Ousterhout at his farm. Ousterhout says some of his trees didn't reach their full potential because of the drought.
Mississippians across the state know the familiar sound of the Salvation Army's bell ringers this time of year. The red kettles in front of retail stores take donations of all size to fund the nonprofit's work. The Salvation Army also takes gift donations for needy families through its Angel Tree program. MPB's Karen Brown spoke with Erin Campbell -- Director of Communications for The Salvation Army Jackson Metro Area. Campbell says most of group's operating budget for the year comes during the holiday season.