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Fifth Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Urges African Americans to "Get Tested, Get Educated, Get Involved"

February 4, 2005

Monday, Feb. 7, marks the fifth annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which is sponsored by the Community Capacity Building Coalition, a consortium of national minority-focused groups supported by CDC through the National Minority AIDS Initiative. The CCBC includes: Concerned Black Men, the Health Watch Information and Promotion Service, the Jackson State University-Mississippi Urban Research Center, the National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Web site, 2/4). African Americans suffer the "vast majority" of deaths from AIDS-related causes, according to an HHS release (HHS release, 2/4). More than half of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 32 states between 2000 and 2003 were among African Americans, although African Americans represented only 13% of the populations of those states, according to CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report. During the same period, 69% of women who tested HIV-positive were African American, and the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among African-American women is 18 times the rate among non-Hispanic white women. In addition, African-American men in 2003 had the highest rate of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses than any other racial/ethnic group, about seven times the rate among white men and twice the rate among African-American women, according to MMWR (MMWR, 2/4).

The goal of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is to urge African Americans to "get educated, get tested and get involved" with HIV/AIDS activities in their communities. Special events on the day include no-cost HIV testing, prayer breakfasts, town hall meetings and memorial services. Events are being held in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. "Statistics show that African Americans have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since the epidemic's beginning," Dr. John Robertson, executive director of the National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council, said, adding, "If we increase the dialogue and get everyone involved, we will be able to galvanize our communities to take action and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS" (NBHAAD release, 1/20). Some of the events taking place around the country include:

  • Alabama state House and Senate members on Thursday wore T-shirts handed out by the Legislative Black Caucus that said, "Got AIDS?" on the front, and "How do you know?" on the back to raise awareness of the epidemic in the state, particularly among African Americans (AP/, 2/3).

  • Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers (D) on Saturday in Omaha, Neb., is scheduled to headline a banquet, titled "The Gathering -- A Fellowship in Support of HIV/AIDS Activism," that will address the sexually transmitted disease epidemic affecting the African-American community in the state (Aksamit, Omaha World-Herald, 2/3).

  • New Jersey officials on Wednesday announced that the state will begin a $2 million, yearlong advertising campaign that will "heavily" promote the use of rapid HIV tests, particularly among African-American women and Latinas (Groves, Bergen Record, 2/3).

Media Events

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Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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