Ohio: HIV-Prevention Drive Targets Black Women
October 20, 2006
CDC is funding a citywide campaign Cleveland rolled out this week to encourage black women to be tested for HIV. The $750,000 campaign, and a similar one in Philadelphia, aim to cut down on the number of black women contracting HIV through unprotected sex.
With black women accounting for two of every three new female HIV/AIDS cases, the campaign uses billboards, buses and radio spots to promote the message: You know him. But you can't know everything. Get a free HIV test.
David Merriman, acting AIDS director for the Cleveland Department of Public Health, said data show black women ages 18-34 run the highest risk for HIV and "really need to know their status."
As of Dec. 31, 395 Cleveland women had HIV/AIDS, according to Merriman. HIV/AIDS incidence among black women dropped last year, but the Health Department said that, since nearly 40 percent of black men with HIV/AIDS reported sexual behavior that put their female partners at risk, efforts to prevent transmission should be continued.
Merriman said the city currently performs about 2,200 HIV tests per year at its clinics. The campaign's goal is to increase the number of tests among black women. He said the city will track progress of the campaign for a year.
Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
10.19.2006; Regina McEnery