Local and Community News
Detroit Program to Address Black People, HIV
February 6, 2003
On Friday, hundreds of individuals and a coalition of Detroit HIV/AIDS service providers will celebrate the Second Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at High Praise Cathedral of Faith, 8809 Schoolcraft in Detroit.Adapted from:
A breakfast and awareness program from 9 to 11 a.m., a panel discussion on prevention from noon to 2 p.m. and a 7 p.m. gospel concert and candlelight vigil will be held at the church. Participants can get literature on preventing HIV/AIDS and learn about testing. All events are free and open to the public.
Similar events are planned in other large cities on Friday, including Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, and Baltimore. "In our community, what we don't know tends to scare us and we don't want to talk about it," said 39-year-old, Detroiter Ronald Doe, the Midwest program assistant for African-American Men United Against AIDS. "There is a sense of denial that this kind of thing doesn't happen to our community. But we need to open our eyes and look at what is really going on around us."
The Detroit area has the 10th-highest incidence of HIV/AIDS infection in the nation, according to CDC. The Michigan Department of Community Health's Communicable Disease and Immunization Division estimates that about 1 in 50 black men in the metro area is HIV-infected. More than 90 percent of the estimated 7,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Detroit are African American.
"When we first learned about HIV/AIDS, it was regarded as a gay disease having a white face," said Schawne Parker, executive director of Community Health Outreach Workers, a Detroit-based advocacy group for African Americans. "Today, one need only look at the continent of Africa to see that that face is changing."
Detroit Free Press
02.06.03; Alejandro Bodipo-Memba