PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 2, 2015 — On the 15th anniversary of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women will hold a community event that will offer free HIV testing and education about the disease.
The event will happen this Saturday, Feb. 7.
“HIV and AIDS are still a problem in the black community, and it is up to us to make sure we know the causes and risks of these diseases,” Sen. Williams said. “While African-Americans make up about 14 percent of the U.S. population, they still account for more than 40 percent of all new HIV cases.
“I cannot just sit and watch as this problem still hurts us,” Williams said.
Sen. Williams event will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Kingsessing Recreation Center, 4901 Kingsessing Ave. Light refreshments will be served.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says African-Americans are most affected by HIV.
- An estimated 1-in-16 African-American men and 1-in-32 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV infection at some point in their lifetimes,
- By the end of 2011, the CDC said nearly 266,000 African-Americans died after their HIV developed into stage 3 AIDS.
According to AIDS Fund Philly, an estimated 30,000 people are living with HIV in the Philadelphia area and are being infected at a rate that is five times faster than the national average.
“The numbers are staggering enough, but what should really get the community’s attention, as it did mine, is that some 73,000 African-Americans don’t know that they have HIV,” Sen. Williams said. “Helping Philadelphians become aware of the risks and possibilities is the goal of this Saturday’s free event.
“Whether you just want to learn about HIV and AIDS or are concerned about the status of your health, come to the Kingsessing Rec. Center and get the peace of mind you deserve,” he said.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day started as an effort to get African-Americans educated, involved, tested and treated. This year’s observance and outreach is under the theme: “I am my brother/sister’s keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS.”
For more information, contact Desaree Jones in Sen. Williams office at 215-492-2980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit http://nationalblackaidsday.org, www.blackaidsday.org, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Pennsylvania chapter, or the CDC.