Oklahoma: AIDS Awareness Targeted at Black Community
February 6, 2006
Oklahoma City and Tulsa will be among hundreds of U.S. cities sponsoring HIV/AIDS awareness programs on Tuesday, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
"In Oklahoma, Africa Americans represent 7.6 percent of the population, yet they account for 18 percent of people diagnosed with AIDS," said Michael Harmon, the state Health Department's HIV/STD services director.
At four locations in Oklahoma City, Guiding Right community outreach program workers will join American Red Cross and HIV/AIDS prevention volunteers to canvas neighborhoods with HIV/AIDS messages and information. "We are in the business of disasters, and we consider HIV a disaster," said Elizabeth Kolliopoulos, ARC's Oklahoma City HIV prevention coordinator.
A hearse will be used to drive home the point that HIV/AIDS targets black men and women with deadly results. Celebrity obituaries will be used to remind the community of prominent black people who have died with the disease, such as designer Willi Smith, television journalist Max Robinson, actors Gene Anthony Ray and Howard Rollins, songwriter Fela Kuti, rap artist Easy-E, recording artist Jermaine Stewart and tennis star Arthur Ashe.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.