Washington, D.C. -- On June 8th, 2011, National Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NCAHAAD) will celebrate its sixth year of raising HIV awareness among Caribbean Americans. The lead sponsor, Caribbean People International Collective, Inc. works in collaboration with local, regional and national organizations encouraging Caribbean communities across the United States and the Caribbean to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS among the Caribbean population.
According to UNAIDS, in 2008, an estimated 240,000 people were living with HIV in the Caribbean region, while an estimated 20,000 people were newly infected and some 12,000 died of AIDS-related illnesses. In addition, the Caribbean has been more heavily affected by HIV than any region outside sub-Saharan Africa and has the second highest level of adult HIV prevalence (1.0%).
Increased migration between the Caribbean and the United States often creates potential public health implications for the delivery of care and treatment services for Caribbean Americans living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Issues with migration exist not only between the Caribbean and the United States, but within states or travel to other cities including Miami, New York and Boston. Reasons for mobility may be due to employment, family obligations, need to hide because of HIV stigma, or the need to seek medical care.
"It is cause for concern that HIV diagnoses continue to increase and poor health, premature deaths and AIDS have challenged Caribbean Americans in every part of the country", comments TAI Director of Education and CBA Programs, Michelle Scavnicky. "The AIDS Institute strongly supports National Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day which emphasizes the importance of testing and knowing your HIV status", continues Scavnicky.
For more information about the awareness campaign, visit www.caribbeanhealthaidsday.com/.