By: Project REACH
February 7, 2014 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). On February 7th embody the mission of NBHAAD by becom
ing your “brother/sister’s keeper: fight HIV/AIDS!” Watch out for those close to you in your life by educating them on HIV/AIDS or getting tested together. Show your support, focus on the four aspects of the national day: education, testing, involvement, and treatment.
With the HIV/AIDS virus comes stigma, obstacles, and risks.
HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects African Americans. African Americans form such a small population in respect to the population’s noticeably higher HIV/AIDS cases. In 2010, African Americans compromised 11.1% of Nassau County and 7.4% of Suffolk County; however, African Americans represented 36% of HIV cases and 44% of newly diagnosed AIDS cases, according to the New York State Department of Health Epidemiological Data. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day works to change disparities of African Americans at risk for HIV/AIDS; providing HIV education, testing, leadership, and treatment initiatives that target at risk black communities.
African Americans from every walk of life are affected by HIV/AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011 African Americans in the U.S. had an estimated rate of 60.4% new HIV infections, compared to 58% in 2010 and 60% in 2009. The statistics support the need for intervention and intervention begins in our own Long Island communities.
The Long Island Association for AIDS Care’s Project REACH is a program that works to diminish statistics through risk education and assessment, referrals to primary health care treatment and community based services for HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis C. On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, LIAAC will be launching education and testing initiatives to reach Long Island’s black communities. Throughout the week of February 7th, we will be offering education and testing in locations near you. For a complete list of testing locations and events visit our Facebook events page at: https://www.facebook.com/LIAAC.inc/events or call our toll free hotline at 1-877-TO-LIAAC.