Thursday, February 7th, marks the ever-growing annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. National Black Hiv/Aids Awareness Day is an 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 and across the Diaspora.
The motto of the organization is "I am my brother's/sister's keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS," and is now in its 13th year of existence.
According to their website, the movement has four main objectives that it hopes to realize within Black communities:
- Education: To distribute information about HIV/AIDS locally.
- Testing: Establish February 7 as an annual day to get an HIV test.
- Involvement: Increase the number of Blacks involved locally.
- Treatment: For those newly testing HIV+ and those coming to terms with their status, get them aware of treatment services and information.
Area events include:
- Someone Cares, an Atlanta-based HIV/AIDS advocacy and prevention organization for African-American and Latino men, will be honored by the Black AIDS Institute at a Thursday night event at the Loudermilk Center.
- Guy Anthony, an author and HIV/AIDS activist, will speak Thursday night at Morehouse College as part of an event to recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day called “HIV and Me,” in Morehouse's Dansby Hall (room 200) from 7-9 p.m.
- Free testing at the ERC Comprehensive Intervention Clinic is located at 100 Edgewood Ave. NE, Suite 1020, Atlanta, GA 30303.
- Also Fulton County Health Services has testing sites.
To find a testing location close to you if an event is not listed here, go to http://hivtest.cdc.gov/
According to the CDC:
- In 2010, African Americans comprised 14 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections.
- Black men represented almost one-third (31 percent) of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010. Gay and bisexual men comprised the vast majority (72 percent) of infections among black men.
- Black women accounted for 13 percent of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010 and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all new infections among women. Most black women (87 percent) were infected through heterosexual sex.
Source: CDC. Fact Sheet: New HIV Infections in the United States (PDF). Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012 [cited 2013 Jan 23]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/resources/factsheets/aa.htm.