March 9, 2007

ASC Trainer Mondo Blue describes the epidemic's powerful impact on communities of color during one of ASC's Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day workshops.

February 7, 2007 marked the seventh year of Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a nationwide event to promote awareness and support for HIV prevention, care, and treatment among African Americans.

ASC observed the occasion with workshops and guest speakers. ASC also provided free HIV counseling, testing, and referral services in collaboration with Project WAVE, a state-funded program that promotes community-level HIV testing to help people learn their status and connect to care.

The statistics are grim: Blacks comprise more than half of New York City's new HIV cases, and among newly diagnosed New Yorkers, Blacks are the least likely to begin treatment within three months. Black New Yorkers are also 2.5 more likely to die from HIV-related causes than their White counterparts.

"Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is one of many ways ASC spreads the messages of HIV prevention, testing, and treatment into communities at risk," says Ramona Cummings, ASC's Co-Director of Prevention Services. "We need to send constant reminders that HIV is real and that people are still getting infected. ASC's Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day activities keep this issue on the agenda and reinforce important messages about HIV risk, transmission, testing, treatment, and the tremendous impact of this epidemic on communities of color."

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