“Prevention is Power” is the theme for this year’s National Black AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, the mission- to build the capacity and increase awareness, participation and support for HIV prevention, care and treatment among African Americans.
“The primary goal of NBHAAD is to motivate African Americans to get tested and know their HIV status; get educated about the transmission modes of HIV/AIDS; get involved in their local community; and get treated if they are currently living with HIV or are newly diagnosed,” say officials at NBHAAD.
In the Los Angeles area events include the annual Heroes in the Struggle presented by the Black AIDS Institute, candlelight vigils, community forums, a march and rally, a community health fair, free testing and opportunities for voter registration. For more information visit www.Blackaidsday.org. California health statistics continue to show African Americans leading the way in new and undiagnosed AIDS cases every year. In 2008, marking the eighth annual Black AIDS Day, the Black poverty rate here in the Southland is almost 30 percent, with many medical experts attributing that among one of many factors to the growing number of cases. Currently in the entire state of California, there are 139, 019 AIDS cases and of those Blacks make up 24,437. Getting educated, protected sex and getting tested are the best lines of defense, since, while there are better treatments now than twenty years ago, there is still no known cure.
“Knowing your status plays a big part in being responsible,” says Blackaidsday.org.
“We also believe that HIV testing allows us to act, think and play responsibly. As one of our anchor slogans, we want to make sure that those who visit our site understand and are ready to take the test to determine their HIV status. Knowing about procedures, confidentiality issues, and local testing sites can help you make the best decision about your personal health.
“The decision to get tested for HIV can be emotionally complicated. If you are considering getting tested, it is important that you understand what the test consists of and exactly what the results mean. You should also know where to get tested, and speak with a trained and qualified counselor before doing so…”