Friday, June 27th, is National HIV Testing Day. In response to the magnitude of the AIDS epidemic in Black America and the expanding HIV/AIDS health disparities between Black Americans and other racial ethnic groups, the Black AIDS Institute and Alabama Department of Public Health are sponsoring a testing tour with stops in Montgomery (June 25th); Selma (June 26th) and Birmingham (June 27th). In addition to free HIV testing, there will be free food, life-saving information and giveaways.
35 years into this epidemic, there are still alarming rates of new HIV infections in this country. Roughly 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV every year and 69 percent are Black. In Alabama, the HIV epidemic continues to disproportionately affect African Americans. During 2012, the rate of HIV diagnosed among Black men was 6.5 times that of White men, with 65% of newly diagnosed males identifying as Black. The difference was even more pronounced among African American women, who are 12.5 as likely to become infected with HIV as White women, with 80% of newly diagnosed females identifying as Black. During 2012, 85% of newly diagnosed youth (ages 13-19) were Black. Black gay and bisexual men in Alabama accounted for 35% of new HIV diagnoses in Alabama.
Despite these statistics, tremendous advances have been made towards ending the AIDS epidemic but it all begins with each and every Alabamian knowing his or her HIV status.
On Wednesday, June 25th (in Montgomery), please come to: Alabama State University J. Garrick Hardy Student Services Center S. University Drive, adjacent to Acadome 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Thursday, June 26th (in Selma), please come to: Selma Convention Center 211 Washington Street Selma, Alabama 36701 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Friday, June 27th (in Birmingham), please come to: Smithfield Court Residential Council of the Birmingham District 421 8th Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35204 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information about National HIV Testing Day, call (213) 353-3610 or email GeraldG@BlackAIDS.org.