CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–February 7, 2013. In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is hosting several events through its Center for Minority Health Services encouraging HIV testing, and providing education and resources about the disease in black communities statewide.
Blacks are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS globally and locally. Although 13 percent of the U.S. population, blacks account for 45 percent of all new HIV infections. Illinois has the 7th highest number of diagnosed HIV infections, and is 5th nationwide in the estimated number of AIDS cases. Blacks are about 14 percent of the Illinois population but account for nearly half of all HIV/AIDS cases.
“IDPH remains committed to facilitating access to HIV testing as well as providing access to education and awareness about the disease,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “We fully support efforts like National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day that mobilize communities to empower themselves in the effort to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was created in 2000 to mobilize and provide greater access to testing, health resources and education about the disease in an effort to reverse its occurrence in the black community. This year’s theme is “Our Ancestors Fought that we might be free – even from HIV.”
IDPH, through the Center for Minority Health Services, remains committed to educating communities and dispelling myths around HIV and AIDS by facilitating opportunities for free and confidential HIV testing, and assisting those who are HIV positive to connect with care and treatment services. In 2005, IDPH launched BASUAH – Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS – to promote HIV/AIDS awareness among communities of color through education, collaboration and community engagement.
Other IDPH events supporting National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day include a public service announcement airing on the Comcast website and selected Comcast stations (http://www.spotlightcsg.com/Chicago/ILDeptHealth_jan13.html), and an interactive program in partnership the 21st Century after school programs and the Springfield Urban League at 6 p.m. Thursday at Lanphier High School, 1300 N. 11th St.., Springfield.
Please visit idph.riproad.com for a full list of events and testing locations statewide, or use IDPH’s Text2Survive mobile calendar by texting “event” to 36363 for free events statewide. Text2Survive also provides local HIV testing locations by texting IL and a ZIP Code to 36363. Text “centro” plus the ZIP Code to 36363 to receive the information in Spanish.
Additionally, help commemorate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by joining the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services’ “Twibbon” Campaign http://twibbon.com/join/Black-HIVAIDS-Awareness-Day to place the awareness badge on Facebook and Twitter profiles. Also visit www.basuah.org and send e-card reminders to friends and loved ones to get tested.
For more information, please call the IDPH HIV/AIDS and STD hotline at 1-800-243-2437 and visit the IDPH website at http://www.idph.state.il.us/aids/default.htm.