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For Release: January 29, 2008
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7

A national mobilization effort designed to encourage African-Americans across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get treated, and get involved with HIV/AIDS, will occur on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. HIV/AIDS continues to be a persistent threat to the health and well being of many African-American communities.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health and many Oklahomans will join the rest of the nation in observing this health awareness day. The theme for the day is “Black Life is Worth Saving.” Observing the HIV/AIDS crisis by race and ethnicity, it is clear that African Americans have more illness. Blacks account for about 13 percent of the U.S. population and they also account for about half (49 percent) of those who get HIV and AIDS. African Americans have shorter survival times and often don’t live as long as people of other races and ethnic groups with AIDS. Blacks also have more deaths from HIV/AIDS.

Tulsa and Oklahoma City are sponsoring the following events that highlight the issue and provide education.

Oklahoma City– HIV Community Awareness Project (HICAP) is asking the community to join them Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at N.E. 23rd and Martin Luther King (on the corner in front of CVS) for a New Orleans-style mock funeral to raise awareness about African Americans living with HIV and AIDS. The theme is “Silence is Death.” Mourners are asked to wear black and bring black umbrellas to demonstrate the dire need for attention on this virus and disease. Bands and choirs have been invited to perform and educational information will be distributed. For information, contact Mark Knight at (405) 733-0771 or mknight@guidingright.org.

Tulsa – The Black HIV/AIDS Task Force is sponsoring their Fifth Annual “Trendy Is Knowing Fashion Show” on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Greenwood Cultural Center, Goodwin-Chappelle Gallery, 322 N. Greenwood. They are encouraging local churches to invite them to speak to their congregations on Sunday mornings about prevention, stigma and living with HIV/AIDS. For additional information, contact Heather Nash at (918) 831-1633 or hnash@arctac.org.

For additional information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit this Web site: http://www.blackaidsday.org/

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