National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Strategic Leadership Council Announces New National Spokespersons To Join The Fight Against HIV/AIDS

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Celebrities and Community Leaders Join Together In Support of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

What do President Barack H. Obama (during his term as Illinois Senator), Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chris Bridges (aka Ludacris), Sheryl Lee Ralph, Caressa Cameron-Jackson, Rev. Edwin Sanders, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rae Lewis Thornton all have in common? They have all served as spokespersons for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, using their reach to influence and empower individuals to get educated, get tested, get involved and get treated for HIV/AIDS. In 2016, we are proud to partner with Bishop Oliver C. Allen, Minister Linda Scruggs, Dr. Leo Moore, Larry Bryant, Guy Anthony, Jay Ellis, and Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan.

February 7, 2016, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage Blacks across the United States and Diaspora to get educated, get tested, get involved, and get treated, as HIV/AIDS continues to devastate Black communities.

While Blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Blacks account for 47% of the nation’s new HIV infections. In 2012, an estimated 14,102 Blacks were diagnosed with AIDS in the US, a number that has slowly decreased since 2008. By the end of 2011, an estimated 265,812 Blacks with an AIDS diagnosis had died in the US. In 2012, HIV was the 5th leading cause of death for all Blacks and the 5th leading cause of death for both Black men and Black women ages 35–44.

Unfortunately, many of those who are infected with HIV are unaware of their status and may unknowingly transmit the virus to others. It’s time to mobilize and talk about this devastating disease so we can make a difference… and there’s no better time than February 7th. On this Commemorative Day, Blacks are encouraged to get educated on HIV/AIDS, get tested for HIV/AIDS, get involved in HIV/AIDS prevention activities, and get treated for HIV/AIDS, if needed. Special events such as press conferences, town hall meetings, health fairs, church services, community marches and rallies, candlelight vigils, and free HIV testing will be held throughout the nation.

Now in its 16th year, NBHAAD organizers remain focused on all cities where Black communities are disproportionately impacted and the epidemic is not slowing. Some of these cities include Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas and Houston Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Newark and Trenton, New Jersey; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C.

NBHAAD is directed, planned and organized by a community led group known as the Strategic Leadership Council (SLC) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration-HIV/AIDS Bureau- (HRSA/HAB) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to mobilize communities and address specific issues in regards to local epidemics and best practices that are science based and will influence the course of HIV prevention in Black communities across the country.

For more information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit: http://www.NationalBlackAIDSDay.org.

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Nycal Anthony-Townsend
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