CDC's New HIV Awareness Campaign "Take Charge" Targets African-American Women

CDC on Friday launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging black women to take steps to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS. The "Take Charge. Take the Test." campaign will run in 10 cities: Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Houston; Hyattsville, Md.; Memphis, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; and St. Louis.

According to CDC, black women account for approximately 60 percent of all new HIV infections among women. African-American women have a new infection rate 15 times that of white women.

"At current rates, nearly one in 30 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes," said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. "To help reduce this toll we are working to remind black women that they have the power to learn their HIV status, protect themselves from this disease, and take charge of their health."

The ads feature images of African-American women and messages such as "You Know Him. But You Can't Know Everything" and "You Feel as if You've Known Him Forever, but that Doesn't Mean You Know Everything." Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP), said a goal is to extend the campaign to more US cities.

"All of us have a role to play in stopping the spread of HIV among black women -- by talking to our sisters, daughters, husbands, and boyfriends about how to protect ourselves against HIV and the importance of getting tested; by speaking out against stigma; and by tackling the social inequities that place so many of us at risk for HIV," said Donna Hubbard McCree, PhD, associate director for health equity at DHAP.

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