National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event at Montague Branch Library Feb. 7

February 3, 2012

Online Staff Report

In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a local group will address HIV/AIDS in the African-American community at a town hall meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Montague Branch Library, 1238 S. Winnebago St., Rockford.

The event is organized by People Supporting People HIV/AIDS Alliance (formally known as BASUAH — Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS).

Refreshments and appetizers will be available as supplies last. Raffle prizes (e-reader, women’s/men’s clothing accessories, gift baskets, etc.) will be awarded to winning ticket-holders. Contact Sonya Kirkpatrick at (313) 505-7116 for ticket information.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an HIV/AIDS testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage blacks across the United States to get educated, tested, involved and treated for HIV/AIDS.

People Supporting HIV/AIDS Alliance has, since August 2006, coordinated many programs with partner organizations to increase HIV/AIDS awareness in the community by supporting current HIV/AIDS education, screening and innovated outreach programs.

In 2009, an estimated 16,741 blacks were diagnosed with AIDS in the U.S., a number that has slowly decreased since 2006. By the end of 2008, an estimated 240,627 blacks with an AIDS diagnosis had died in the U.S.

In 2007, HIV was the ninth leading cause of death for all blacks and the third leading cause of death for both black men and black women ages 35 to 44.

Unfortunately, many of those who are infected with HIV are unaware of their status and may unknowingly transmit the virus to others.

While blacks represent approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the group accounts for 44 percent of the nation’s new HIV infections.

For more details, contact Shelton Kay at Crusader Community Health by calling (815) 490-1600, or visit www.blackaidsday.org.

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