FOR RELEASE: January 29 , 2008
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
Oklahoma Joins Effort to Highlight HIV/AIDS Among African Americans
Many of Oklahoma City’s African American leaders and organizations will address the impact of HIV and AIDS on the city’s black community as part of the eighth annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Thursday, Feb. 7.
This year’s theme, Prevention Is Power,will follow a variety of events in 100 cities, including Oklahoma City, designed to encourage citizens to get educated, get tested, get involved, and get treated as HIV/AIDS continues to devastate black communities.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans living in 33 states account for 49 percent of new national HIV/AIDS diagnoses. In Oklahoma, African Americans account for 24 percent of those living with HIV, and 21 percent of those living with AIDS.
As part of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Oklahoma City HIV/AIDS Community Awareness Project will set up a recreational vehicle at N.E. 23rd St. and Martin Luther King Ave. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 to display signs and distribute obituaries of prominent African Americans who have died or are currently living with HIV/AIDS. The group will also provide free and confidential HIV antibody testing at this site. The HIV/AIDS Community Awareness Project is a non-profit group comprised of representatives from various community-based and government organizations including Guiding Right, Inc., American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. For additional information about this event, contact Mark Knight or Nina Johnson at (405) 733-0771.
For information about other Oklahoma events planned in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, contact Amani Smiley, HIV/STD Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health, (405) 271-4636. For general information about HIV/AIDS, call the CDC HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-232-4636. For more information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit www.blackaidsday.org.