Sunday, February 7, 2010

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7th marks the tenth annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD); a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment among Blacks in the United States. The theme for NBHAAD 2010 is "HIV/AIDS Prevention: A Choice and a Lifestyle.”

African Americans and HIV/AIDS

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in African American communities is a continuing public health crisis for the United States. At the end of 2006 there were an estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV infection, of which almost half (46%) were black/African American. While blacks represent approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population, they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV/AIDS—from infection with HIV to death with AIDS—compared with members of other races and ethnicities. The reasons are not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather some of the barriers faced by many African Americans. These barriers can include poverty (being poor), and stigma (negative attitudes, beliefs, and actions directed at people living with HIV/AIDS or people who do things that might put them at risk for HIV).

As the impact of the epidemic among African Americans has grown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health agencies, and African American communities have stepped up efforts to address the crisis. One of their efforts includes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. For 10 years, a group of national organizations, in partnership with CDC, have created and implemented activities focused on motivating African Americans to get tested and learn their HIV status, as well as educating community members about the importance of HIV prevention, early detection, and treatment.

This year’s theme focuses on encouraging African American communities to actively think about HIV/AIDS, its impact on the community, and prevention efforts and strategies available. A wealth of HIV prevention information is available, and African Americans need to receive that information to better protect their health and the health of their loved ones. A collaborative response by many is necessary to decrease the burden of HIV/AIDS in the African American community. Therefore, CDC and African American leaders from business, civil rights organizations, entertainment, government, and the media are speaking out and taking action. When people affected and infected by HIV take collective action against the spread of this disease, our power to control this disease increases.

Together, we can prevent HIV/AIDS, one voice, one experience, one community at a time.

This information is from the CDC website. Click CDC to find additional information.

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