February 2015

Raising Awareness on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the United States – a day set aside to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic that continues to disproportionately affect the African-American community.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-Americans represent only 12% of the population and more than a third of people living with HIV in the United States are African-American.

Here in Washington, D.C., nearly 3% of residents are HIV-positive – a prevalence rate similar to countries in sub-Saharan Africa hit hardest by the epidemic. Local community-health nonprofits such as Whitman-Walker Health and Metro Teen AIDS are dedicated to addressing HIV/AIDS disparities among minorities and have recently joined forces to provide HIV and health wellness programs to young people and their families.

At the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), our work may be global but the HIV/AIDS barriers we tackle are universal. To achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, we must ensure that everyone is able to access education to increase awareness of HIV testing, treatment and prevention.