Nashville CARES Recognizes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Monday, February 04, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) will be held on February 7, 2013 to call attention to the staggering toll HIV/AIDS has had on Black communities across the country.
“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a national HIV/AIDS testing and treatment community mobilization effort designed to encourage African Americans across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get treated, and get involved with HIV/AIDS, as it continues to devastate African American communities,” says LaMont “Montee” Evans, of Healthy Black Communities, Inc. and NBHAAD 2013 National Coordinator.“
Nearly half of the total AIDS cases reported and almost half of the persons living with HIV in the U.S. are African American, even though they represent just 14 percent of the U.S population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Tennessee, African Americans are 17% of the state population but 61% of new diagnoses.
Contributing factors that lead to higher HIV infection rates among African-Americans and African-born communities include not knowing one’s HIV status, and powerful social factors such as education, income, housing and neighborhoods. Lower income levels ultimately result in limited access to quality health care and access to HIV prevention education, testing, treatment and linkage to care.
Health officials noted that knowing one’s HIV status, prevention education, avoiding or delaying sexual activity, decreasing the number of sexual partners, safer sex practices and getting into treatment if infected remain the most effective means of stopping the spread.
Nashville CARES will be providing free and confidential HIV testing on the campus of Tennessee State University (TSU) in the Student’s Center Wednesday, February 6th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Testing will also take place at Austin Peay State University on Thursday, February 7th from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Wilburn N. Daniel African American Culture Center. In addition, Nashville CARES offers testing by appointment or walk-in during business hours. Contact the HEARTLine at (800)845-4266 for additional information.
“We are proud of our partnerships with these universities, as well as the Matthew Walker Health Centers, Metro General Hospital, and the salons that are part of Shears United, that increase African Americans’ access to HIV testing, “said CARES’ CEO Joseph Interrante. “Along with our programs Brothers United, Sista2Sista and Young Brothers, these partnerships are helping to mobilize the Middle Tennessee African American community in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”