News

February 7th Marks 11th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Monday, February 07, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 7, 2011) – Monday, February 7th, marks the 11th Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day works to raise awareness among black communities through education, testing, involvement and treatment. This year’s effort will focus mainly on the steps that individuals, families, faith groups and communities can take together to make the greatest impact, including learning the facts about HIV, getting tested, knowing your HIV status and taking steps to make a difference in your community. Nashville CARES, community-based organizations, health departments and faith-based communities will hold events throughout Tennessee to highlight the impact of HIV/AIDS on black communities. Free confidential testing is available Monday –Friday 8:00am-6:30pm at Nashville CARES.

Every 9½ minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a particular burden on African-American communities. Tennessee continues to have disproportionate number of HIV/AIDS cases among African Americans. African Americans account for 17% of the state populations but 64% of new HIV cases. Moreover, in 2009, African American women consisted of 77% of new infections among women. According to the Tennessee Department of Health data, there were more than 9,000 African-Americans living with HIV throughout Tennessee at the end of 2009. African-Americans represent 53% of all reported cases of HIV in Tennessee since 1982, the year in which AIDS reporting became mandatory in the state. Similarly, African-Americans represented 53% of all deaths reported among HIV-infected individuals in Tennessee in 2010.

HIV affects everyone regardless of gender, race, age, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation; however, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States. Knowing the basic facts surrounding HIV prevention and transmission is the first and most important step in preventing HIV and knowing one’s HIV status is critical for maintaining health and reducing the spread of the virus.

Nashville CARES relies on support from the local community to provide services to those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. For more information about how you can help in the fight against HIV/AIDS please visit www.NashvilleCARES.org or call (615) 259-4866

About Nashville CARES: Nashville CARES is Tennessee’s largest HIV/AIDS organization. Each year, CARES educates 50,000 adults and youth to prevent new HIV infections, provides 12,000 HIV tests, and offers comprehensive support to 2,400 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. All services are available without charge throughout 17 Middle Tennessee counties.