March 20, 2009

Diane Williams, ASC Trainer

The statistics are grim:

Blacks comprise more than half of New York City's new HIV cases. Among newly diagnosed New Yorkers, Blacks are the least likely to begin treatment within three months. Black New Yorkers are also 2.5 times more likely to die from HIV-related causes.

With that in mind, ASC joined thousands of sister organizations across the U.S. to mark this year's Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 6. The urgent, poignant theme: "Black Life is Worth Saving".

The day began with moving testimonials from Peer Educators, ministers and providers about the importance of overcoming stigma, fighting hopelessness, and building community. "HIV is real, and 20 years into this epidemic, Black people are still getting infected. It's up to us to put this issue on the top of the prevention agenda nationally because our lives are worth saving," says Diane Williams, ASC's Training Coordinator.

ASC's Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day activities included free HIV testing, exercise and nutrition classes, and a community lunch. "Each one reach one and teach one," is how Diane Williams forcefully puts it. "It's up to us to get the word out that prevention, testing, and treatment can save lives—our lives."

Photo: David Nager/ASCNYC

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