Tuesday, February 7, 2012 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. African Americans make up 14 percent of the U.S. population but account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women is more than 15 times higher than the rate for white women. In Central Virginia, the AIDS/HIV Services Group Community HIV Testing program has reported that over half of all newly identified HIV-positive individuals are African-American. Like many other health disparities, the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic on the African –American community is rooted in social and economic injustices that create barriers to affordable health care. Education, testing, and treatment are key factors in prevention and halting the HIV epidemic.
As of December 2010, 23,000 Virginians were known to be living with HIV and an estimated 300 of these persons live in Central Virginia, including the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson Counties. In the United States, more than one million people are living with HIV, and at least 20% of persons do not know of their illness. In Virginia, roughly
4,500 persons do not know they have the disease and 50% of all people living with HIV are not receiving treatment and care.
This year, ASG is partnering with the United Sisters at the University of Virginia and the NAACP Albemarle-Charlottesville to mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Dr. Rick Turner, President of the NAACP Albemarle-Charlottesville says that one of the most important 2012 NAACP Health Resolution is to “commemorates 30 years in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic by rededicating the NAACP to mobilize units and provide leadership in the black community on this crisis”.
ASG and the United Sisters of the University of Virginia will offer free, confidential
HIV testing and risk reduction counseling from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Art Gallery on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. ASG educators will answer questions about HIV and help individuals understand and manage their risk for HIV. The testing event is free and open to the community.