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U.S. News

California: Bono, Rep. Lee Help Raise Black AIDS Awareness

March 2, 2007

Today in Oakland, rock star and social activist Bono will meet with US Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and church leaders to discuss the HIV epidemic among African Americans.

Lee said she hopes that the presence of Bono, lead singer of the Grammy-winning band U2 who has made the fight against AIDS in Africa a high-profile issue and raised millions to buy AIDS drugs for developing countries, will "shine a spotlight" on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. "His coming to Oakland is an opportunity for him to learn about what this global pandemic looks like here in the United States, and not only learn about our efforts to fight it, but contribute to them," she said.

The brunt of AIDS in the United States began shifting from gay white men to African Americans in the mid-1990s. The majority of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are now among blacks. In Alameda County, African Americans have comprised the largest portion of AIDS cases since 2003. According to the county Department of Public Health's 2005 AIDS Epidemiology Report, 44 percent of the more than 6,800 AIDS cases diagnosed from 1980 to 2005 were black.

Lee said black churches are key to controlling the epidemic. "The clergy and the faith community play a critical role in the African-American community, and there is no way that our efforts to stop this disease can succeed if they are not involved," she said.

Gloria Cox-Crowell, co-chair of the AIDS ministry at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, said she is excited about Bono's visit: "It's great that Bono is coming because it brings more attention to HIV, both globally and nationally."

Back to other news for March 2, 2007

Adapted from:
San Francisco Chronicle
03.02.2007; Jason B. Johnson

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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.
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