February 4, 2013
Goose Creek, S.C., Mayor Michael Heitzler met with representatives from the Goose Creek Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church HIV/AIDS Ministry to sign a proclamation declaring February 7 the city's "National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day" (NBHAAD). With the proclamation, all involved parties hope to draw attention to the importance of community involvement, education, testing, and treatment for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Healthy Black Communities, Inc., an international community-based organization dedicated to mobilizing local community organizations focused on HIV/AIDS education, prevention, care, and treatment, is planning and overseeing the Goose Creek NBHAAD events.
In South Carolina, African Americans comprise 73 percent of individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, African Americans with HIV/AIDS have a reported case rate six times that of Caucasians. The Goose Creek NAACP Branch, Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church HIV/AIDS Ministry, Lowcountry AIDS Services, and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will host events in observance of NBHAAD, including free HIV testing.